A top-ranked North Korean intelligence officer fled the regime and defected to South Korea, ultimately passing along state strategy secrets to his newfound home hosts, Seoul authorities confirmed Monday.
The unnamed colonel defected last year but South Korea only confirmed his actions this week.
“He is believed to have stated details about the bureau’s operations against South Korea to authorities here,” Yonhap News Agency reported, citing a source in the South Korea General Reconnaissance Bureau.
The officer is believed to have taken part in a couple of attacks in 2010 on Pyongyang that left 50 South Koreans dead, Fox News reported. He’s also believed to have worked directly for the North Korean military-based General Reconnaissance Bureau, a group suspected of hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014.
South Korea reported a few months ago that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of 70 top-ranking government officials as a show of personal power and authority, but that incident hasn’t been confirmed by independent news agencies.
Since the end of the Korean War, more than 29,000 North Koreans have fled the country, defecting to their southern neighbor.