World / Asia-Pacific

DPRK detains 2 men from ROK accused of spying

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-03-27 11:33

DPRK detains 2 men from ROK accused of spying

A spokesperson from the DPRK speaks at a news conference in Pyongyang, March 26, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

SEOUL - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said it detained two men from the Republic of Korea (ROK) on charges of spying.

A ROK government official confirmed Friday that the two are citizens of the ROK, but could not immediately explain how they entered the DPRK and were detained.

The official Korean Central News Agency said Thursday that the two were detained last year after collecting confidential information about the DPRK's ruling Workers' Party of Korea, state organizations and the military.

The DPRK released the names of the men, Kim Kuk Gi and Choe Chun Gil, at a news conference in Pyongyang. KCNA said that Kim and Choe were backed by the ROK's spy agency and the United States, and that they acknowledged to reporters that they had attempted to collect information about the DPRK's leadership, and create economic chaos by circulating counterfeit money and spreading "unsound'' publications to the public.

An official from Seoul's Unification Ministry, who did not want to be named citing office rules, said it was confirmed that Kim and Choe were citizens. The ministry is still gathering information on how the two ended up in the DPRK, the official said.

An official from the ROK's National Intelligence Service, who did not want to be named citing office rules, denied the DPRK's accusations of spying.

The KCNA said Kim was detained in September in Pyongyang and Choe in December.

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