A military officer and the head of a cryptocurrency investment company have been arrested on charges of espionage.
The police and the Defense Security Support Command said on Thursday that the two suspects were taken into custody for violating the National Security Act.
The crypto company chief allegedly met a North Korean agent in an online crypto community. The charges state that the North’s agent colluded with the crypto chief to convince an officer to steal military secrets in return for payment, including virtual assets.
The two talked primarily through the Telegram messenger app and deleted their conversations on a daily basis.
Police confirmed that the company chief received 600-thousand U.S. dollars in cryptocurrency for the operation and the military officer received 48-million-wons’ worth of Bitcoin.
It is the first time any active-duty military personnel has been arrested for spying. The officer had access to the Korean Joint Command and Control System through which defense secrets are passed along.
The police are also looking into civilians who may have be complicit in the crime.