Russia Tells S. Korean to Leave for Alleged Spying

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Russian authorities ordered a South Korean diplomat expelled Saturday after he was detained on suspicion of spying.

The diplomat, identified as Cho Sung Woo, was taken into custody overnight as he met with an alleged Russian contact, according to the Federal Security Service, a successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

The contact, an employee of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, was also detained, the statement said, The Russian was accused of spying for South Korea.

Cho, an advisor to the South Korean ambassador, has diplomatic immunity and was released after questioning, the statement said.


Later, the Foreign Ministry filed a formal complaint with the South Korean ambassador, ordering Cho to leave Russia within three days for “illegal activities incompatible with his diplomatic status.”

A spokesman for the South Korean Embassy, Lee Sok Bae, confirmed that Cho had been detained and would be departing Russia. He declined to comment on the nature of the charges against the diplomat or whether South Korea would take reciprocal action.

Boris Neuchev, a Federal Security Service spokesman, said his colleagues had been surprised by the openness of the diplomat’s contacts with the ministry official, who handed over secret documents before being caught red-handed Friday night.