South Korea spied on Indonesia delegation: Report
The secret agents were apparently seeking bid secrets for a defence contract.
Seoul: Members of South Korea`s spy agency broke into a hotel room of a visiting high-level Indonesian delegation to try to steal sensitive information on a possible arms deal, a report said on Monday.
A spokesman for the National Intelligence Service (NIS) denied the front-page report in Chosun Ilbo newspaper, but declined to elaborate.
The break-in last week has been previously reported but Chosun was the first newspaper to allege that NIS members carried it out.
The 50-member Indonesian presidential delegation visited last week for talks on economic cooperation, including the possible purchase of South Korea`s T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer jet and other weapons systems.
"The NIS agents, for the national interest, were trying to figure out the Indonesian delegation`s negotiating strategies," Chosun quoted a senior Seoul official as saying.
"Getting caught was an unintended mistake."
The paper said three agents entered the room in the Lotte hotel last Wednesday. It said they left after being disturbed by a delegate while looking at a laptop computer belonging to an aide to Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa.
The incident was reported by police and has caused a buzz in Seoul`s diplomatic circles, Chosun said.
A group of NIS officials last Thursday visited the city`s Namdaemun police station and took away all evidence including footage from the hotel`s CCTV cameras, Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported.
"They came to the station and took everything... the quality of CCTV footage was very good so it would not have been hard to identify the intruders," said one police officer quoted by Munhwa.