October 15, 2008 / 2:46 AM / 10 years ago

North Korea's seductress spy found guilty: report

SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean court on Wednesday convicted a North Korean woman defector charged with extracting state secrets from military officers in return for sexual favors and sentenced her to five years in jail, media said.

Won Jeong-hwa, 34, was arrested in August on suspicion of posing as a defector and sleeping with South Korean military officers in exchange for classified information on weapons systems and the locations of key military installations.

Won, who had faced up to life in prison, had admitted in court to her guilt and asked for leniency. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency and others reported on the verdict of her trial held in a suburb south of Seoul.

North Korea’s official media denounced Won and her stepfather — facing trial in the South on related charges — for leaving the North and branded them “human scum.”

Her trial came as ties between the two Koreas have chilled after a new conservative president took office in the South in February and angered the North by saying he would stop what had once been a free flow of aid to the impoverished neighbor.

Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Bill Tarrant

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