SEOUL, May 17 (Korea Bizwire) – Won Sei-hoon, the former chief of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), revealed that he ordered a campaign against the spreading celebrity of Ri Sol-ju, the first lady of North Korea. Won is currently on trial for interfering in the 2012 South Korean presidential election by ordering an online smear campaign against opposition candidates.
In a trial proceeding on Monday, the former chief stated that he ordered his cyber psychological warfare division to conduct an operation to stop the rising popularity of Ri Sol-ju in 2012.
“In order to stop the formation of Ri’s fan clubs, her idolization and glamorization, we conducted a campaign to disperse the issue to other affairs such as the London Olympics,” said Mr. Won. “This is a typical psychological warfare strategy against the North, and it is of no criminal offense subject to this prosecution,” he added.
He also claimed that this is the only campaign that he ordered the psychological warfare division to carry out during his service, and remained firm in his stance disproving all accusations regarding his interference in the presidential election.
Ri Sol-ju was first introduced to national media in July 2012. Images of Ri with Kim Jong-un were released in early July, followed by the North’s media mentioning Ri as Kim’s wife on July 25. The next day, Mr. Won, the chief of NIS at the time, revealed Ri’s personal background as well as her marriage to Kim Jong-un in 2009 at the House Intelligence Committee.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)