Four South Korean diplomats allegedly traded government documents for sex with the same Chinese woman, the Associated Press' Hyung-jin Kim reports. Authorities began investigating the officials, posted at the South Korean consulate in Shanghai, after a tip from the husband of the woman, Deng Xinming, dubbed "the sexy siren" by one Korean newspaper.
Sources in the prime minister's office told The Korea Herald's Kim So-hyun that confidential data--including visa records and the cell phone numbers of politicians--was given to Deng. Many are wondering if Deng was a spy.
This is only the most recent international embarrassment for high-ranking South Korean officials. The country has seen multiple intelligence bungles recently. Last month, the country's National Intelligence Service tried to steal an Indonesian official's laptop from his Seoul hotel room, and failed. The spies, who hadn't bothered to adopt a disguise, were looking for information on Indonesia's military aircraft when an Indonesian delegate walked in on them. They simply returned the laptop.
Other spies have been assigned to research North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's "pleasure squad," Asia Times' Sunny Lee explains. The North Korean dictator employs the services of attractive women to entertain him and his aides. South Korea's intel community once crafted a personality profile of Jong-il based, in part, on his pleasure squad, speculating that "Jong-il's excessive sexual appetite has a hereditary cause, evoking the fact that his father, Kim Il-sung, at the age of 70, also had an affair with a nurse, who gave birth to a baby. Kim Il-sung is believed to have established the pleasure squad in the belief that having sexual relations with young women would have the effect of enhancing his life force, or gi. "
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.