An investigation of a spy agent suspected of conducting an online smear campaign against an opposition presidential candidate during the December election took a new turn as new evidence emerged that another person was involved.
Suseo Police Station said Sunday that five IDs made by the spy agent surnamed Kim were also used by a different person, whose name was withheld, in writing posts supporting President-elect Park Geun-hye and favoring other posts amiable to the president-elect.
The new suspect allegedly posted in different places with Kim’s IDs on a website called Today’s Humor, the one used by Kim in her alleged operations.
“The police have notified the person to appear in front of the police as a reference,” a police official said.
Around three months prior to the presidential election, Kim allegedly wrote 100 posts using more than 16 IDs.
Kim also clicked the “approval” buttons on the posts that supported the current government, the ruling party and President-elect Park, but pressed “objection” buttons on other posts unfavorable toward them, according to the police.
She clicked the “objection” button on posts supportive of the opposition party and previous left-leaning presidents allegedly to keep them from becoming the most liked on the website and to vilify the opposition.
The person scheduled to appear soon at the police for interrogation also wrote posts and clicked the same approval/objection buttons as Kim did. The person also supported posts made by Kim, said the police.
The police are now investigating the content of his posts.
Meanwhile, Kim has filed lawsuits against the police and the operator of Today’s Humor for leaking her personal information to a reporter whom she has also filed charges against for checking log files on the website.
Kim has also sued internet users who searched her writings on the internet using her name and resident registration number.
While the investigation was under way, investigation chief Kwon Eun-hee at Suseo Police Station has been transferred to a different police station raising suspicions of Kwon’s influence on the investigation.
“(In order to not hinder the investigation) Kwon will work together with the new chief investigator until the end of the case,” Seoul District Police Agency said.
The main opposition party ratcheted up criticism against the alleged involvement of the NIS in the presidential election.
“It is hard to believe that a female in her 20s coordinated all of these schemes and made the decisions. There must be a mastermind behind all of this,” said DUP floor leader Park Ki-choon on a radio program, calling for a parliamentary investigation.
The DUP demanded the nation’s police chief Kim Ki-yong resign for releasing incomplete results of the investigation before the presidential election which, the DUP insists, influenced the election results.
The police had initially reported that there were no ill-intended writings by the agent Kim relevant to the presidential election found, but later said evidence that Kim put up some postings existed.
Most recently the police said Kim posted 120 writings about political issues and social affairs prior to the election.
“The police have not changed words but kept finding new facts as the investigation continues,” said Police chief Kim Ki-Yong, adding that the transfer of the investigation chief is just a regular reshuffle.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org