S Korean `spy` triggered diplomatic row with Libya: Source

Libya has expelled a South Korean intelligence official accused of spying on its ruler Moamer Kadhafi, leading to a rift between the two countries, a diplomatic source said on Tuesday.

Updated: Jul 27, 2010, 19:38 PM IST

Seoul: Libya has expelled a South Korean
intelligence official accused of spying on its ruler Moamer
Kadhafi, leading to a rift between the two countries, a
diplomatic source said on Tuesday.

Tripoli expelled the official on June 18 after saying
"he exceeded the scope of ordinary information-gathering
activities", the source said to a news agency.

South Korea has held talks with Libya -- a lucrative
market for its construction firms -- to end the row, which saw
Tripoli suspend operations at its de facto embassy in Seoul.

"A government delegation visited Tripoli on July 20 to
seek a diplomatic solution," the source added. The National
Intelligence Service (NIS) declined to confirm a Yonhap news
agency report that the team included NIS officials.

Yonhap said the man, an NIS official working out of
Seoul`s embassy, was kicked out for allegedly trying to
collect information on leader Kadhafi, his family and key
Libyan bureaucrats.

It quoted a source as saying the expelled official
had never been posted overseas before and might have been too
eager to please.

"In Libya, any information related to Kadhafi and
his family is sensitive, and going after it is quite
dangerous," the source told Yonhap.

Yonhap said Libyan authorities shadowed him for
three months before arresting him, interrogating him for six
days and then expelling him.

PTI