S.Korea captain, businessman charged with stealing military secrets

S.Korea captain, businessman charged with stealing military secrets

SEOUL, South Korea - A South Korean army captain and businessman has been arrested and charged with stealing military secrets under the direction of a North Korean spy who lured them with cryptocurrencies, Seoul officials said Thursday.

Both have been charged with violating South Korea's anti-Pyongyang national security law, though authorities haven't determined where the whereabouts of the North Korean spy, police and prosecutors said.

The military captain allegedly passed login information for a military-owned computerized command and control system to the North Korean spy, the prosecutor s office said in a statement. The captain received a total of 48 million won $37,710 from the spy, according to the police.

The 38-year-old businessman, who runs a virtual asset management firm, allegedly gave the captain a wrist watch with a hidden camera to support his intelligence stealing, though he ended up using his phone, police said.

According to a statement released by the Korean National Police Agency, the businessman is accused of trying to obtain bigger military secrets in a possible collaboration with the army captain after he received $600,000 in the form of criptocurrency from the spy. The businessman accused the businessman of offering financial rewards to another military officer in exchange for confidential information, a proposal that was rejected by the officer.

Police said the businessman first came to know the North Korean spy in an online community six years ago, and talked to him on the phone. The army captain was approached by the spy, according to the police. They said both South Koreans knew they were communicating with a spy from North Korea.

South Korea has detected a North Korean spying effort to get a South Korean military officer and a civilian to work together to obtain sensitive information, according to the police statement.

South Korea s military has confirmed the arrest of the captain, saying it will sternly deal with any attempt to undermine national security.

The two Koreas remain divided along the world's most heavily fortified border since the end of the 1950 -- 53 Korean War. Both Koreas routinely sent agents and spies through the border at the height of Cold War rivalry, but no such incident has been reported in recent years.