(Sankei: February 4, 2016 – p. 26)
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has arrested Pak Chae Hun (49), a former senior official at Korea University (located in Kodaira City, Tokyo), on fraud charges. The police suspect that that Pak became involved in political maneuvering in South Korea under the direction of North Korea’s intelligence agency known as Office 225. The police informed the Sankei Shimbun on Feb. 3 that the suspect had repeatedly met with operatives in China. The suspect apparently avoided South Korea, where surveillance and investigation are strict, and instead conveyed instructions to operatives from Japan and other third countries.
According to investigative authorities, the suspect received instructions from Office 225 and then conveyed them to operatives in South Korea or China by email and other methods. He also went to China to participate in actual operations. Pak sometimes had operatives come to Japan to report to him directly. The suspect and operatives also reportedly gathered on occasion at a site in Tokyo to share information.
Pak successfully recruited the leader of a South Korean traditional dance group as an operative. South Korean authorities later arrested the operative who was charged with violating the National Security Law. The investigation disclosed that in March 2011, the operative contacted an Office 225 agent in Shanghai based on Pak’s instructions.
The Tokyo police confiscated a personal computer from Pak’s residence. On the seized computer, the police found Office 225 documents instructing South Korea’s anti-government groups to assemble. In order to prevent the originator of the message from being detected, Pak used “steganography” to conceal the message within an image.
The police arrested the suspect on charges of fraud for purchasing items with a credit card obtained illegally using a fake identity.