A North Korean agent ordered by the regime to kidnap Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of former leader Kim Jong-il, was indicted on Tuesday. Kim Yong-su (50) was arrested on Sept. 12 after he came to South Korea posing as a defector.
Prosecutors said the agent was also under orders to watch Park Sang-hak, a defector and activist who sends anti-Communist leaflets to the North attached to helium balloons.
Kim Yong-su was indicted for violating the National Security Law.
In China in July 2010, Kim Yong-su was ordered by the North's spy agency to "commit a terrorist act against Kim Jong-nam," according to prosecutors. The agent reportedly confessed that he was preparing to bribe a Chinese taxi driver into hitting Kim Jong-nam and disguising it as a car accident.
These plans were hatched before Kim Jong-il anointed his youngest son Jong-un as his successor instead.
Kim Yong-su reportedly testified that an outright assassination could have caused problems for North Korea in the international community, so he plumbed for a fake car accident. Afterwards he planned to take the stunned Kim Jong-nam to North Korea as though for medical treatment.
But the agent failed to find Kim Jong-nam in China and was ordered to stand by.
Pyongyang then ordered him to sneak into South Korea posing as a defector to keep watch on Park Sang-hak and win over defectors, who often suffer poverty in South Korea, and talk them into returning to the North.
Since he was sent to China for the first time in 2002, the agent allegedly ferreted out defectors and their support organizations there. He was awarded a medal for having nabbed a runaway North Korean diplomat at a church in China and sent him back to the North.