Korean Central Intelligence Agency

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Group.png Korean Central Intelligence Agency  
(Intelligence agency)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
AbbreviationKCIA
PredecessorKorean Counterintelligence Corps
SuccessorAgency for National Security Planning
FormationJune 13, 1961
FounderKim Jong-pil
LeaderKorean Central Intelligence Agency/Director
SubpageKorean Central Intelligence Agency/Director

The Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) was an intelligence agency in South Korea from 1961 to 1981. It was renamed as the Agency for National Security Planning after 1979 when the group's director personally assassinated South Korean president Park Chung-hee, his boss.

Origins

The agency's origins can be traced back to the Korean Counterintelligence Corps (KCIC), formed during the Korean War. The KCIA was founded on June 13, 1961 by Kim Jong-pil, who drew much of the organization's initial 3,000-strong membership from the KCIC. Kim, a Korean Military Academy graduate and nephew of Park Chung-hee by marriage, was responsible for the 1961 coup d'etat that installed Park before he was elected president of Korea.

The intelligence service was extensively used by President Park's government to suppress and disrupt anti-government or pro-North Korean (in which pro-communist was included) movements, including the widespread student protests on university campuses and the activities of overseas Koreans. The KCIA developed a reputation for interfering in domestic politics and international affairs that were beyond its jurisdiction. The KCIA's original charter, Act Concerning Protection of Military Secrets, was designed to oversee the coordination of activities related to counterespionage and "national security", but a majority of its activities and budget were devoted to things unrelated to its original charter.

Activities

In 1968 KCIA agents kidnapped seventeen Koreans living abroad in West Germany.[1] They were transported back to Seoul, where they were tortured and brought up on charges of having violated the National Security Law by engaging in pro-Northern activities.[2] The KCIA's virtually unlimited and completely unchecked power to arrest and detain any person on any charge, created a climate of extreme fear and repression.

The KCIA is known to have raised funds through extortion and stock market manipulation, which were in turn used to bribe and cajole companies, individuals, and even foreign governments, as did happen during the Koreagate scandal in the United States in 1976. Domestically, the was an avid supporter of the arts, promoter of tourism, and purveyor of national culture. Investigations by US Congressman Donald M. Fraser found the KCIA to have funneled bribes through Korean businessman Tongsun Park in an attempt to gain favor and influence in Washington, D.C.; some 115 Members of Congress were implicated in what became known as the Koreagate scandal.[3]

On 26 October 1979, the KCIA's director, Kim Jae-kyu, assassinated President Park Chung Hee during a dinner. This lead to a purge of the KCIA[How?]. Kim Jae-Kyu and five others were executed, and the KCIA temporarily lost much of its power. Agency for National Security Planning


References

  1. Mark Clifford (1998). Troubled Tiger: Businessmen, Bureaucrats, and Generals in South Korea. p. 81. ISBN 9780765601414.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "CSS").
  2. Cumings, Bruce (2005). Korea's Place in the Sun: A Modern History (Updated ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. p. 346. ISBN 978-0393327021.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "CSS").
  3. JPRI Working Paper No. 20