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The spy who wasn't a spy: A tale of two Koreas

The spy who wasn't a spy: A tale of two Koreas

Just a few years ago, Yu Woo-sung was thriving. He had fled his native North Korea and resettled in the South. Unlike many defectors from the totalitarian state, he had adapted well to his new country’s fast-paced, capitalist society. He had a degree in business from one of the country’s top universities and a civil service job in Seoul’s city government.

But Yu’s dream turned to nightmare in 2013, when he was arrested on espionage charges by the National Intelligence Service, South Korea’s main spy agency, which accused him of using his job to gather information on defectors living in Seoul, and relaying it back to North Korea.

Yu spent more than a year trying to prove...