Seoul: South Korea`s military is investigating a general suspected of leaking secrets to a former spy for Seoul who then sold the information to North Korea, officials and media reports said on Friday.
The Army general, who wasn`t identified, allegedly handed over a military operations plan for coping with emergencies in North Korea drawn up by South Korea and the US, the mass-circulation Chosun Ilbo newspaper said.
The security breach apparently occurred a few years before the current spike in tensions over North Korea`s alleged sinking of a South Korean warship in March which killed 46 sailors. The former spy, who worked for South Korea in the 1990s, has been arrested and accused of passing military secrets to the North between 2005 and 2007, the newspaper said.
It said the former spy had served in the military and met the general there, but gave no further details about their relationship.
Officials at the Defence Security Command and the National Intelligence Service confirmed that the general was being investigated in the case. The officials, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, declined to give further details about the probe because it was ongoing.
Officials at Seoul`s Central District Prosecutors` Office did not immediately comment.
North Korea denies involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan warship, which has highlighted the South Korean military`s need to sharpen its defences. South Korea plans to hold military drills with the US in the Yellow Sea — off South Korea`s west coast — in the middle of this month, followed by anti-submarine drills with the US in either late June or early July, the Defence Ministry said.
The United States is considering dispatching the aircraft carrier USS George Washington to the area where the Cheonan sank, US defence officials have said.