South Korean investigators confirmed that National Intelligence Service (NIS) attempted to manipulate voters to help conservative win parliamentary and presidential elections.
According to the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the Agency conducted a two-years PSYOPs involving up to 30 teams to manipulate the 2012 elections.
The Agency recruited tech-savvy civilians that operated through social media aiming to influence the voter sentiments.
The internal investigation results confirm the scale of the campaign was far wider than previously thought.
“The teams were charged with spreading pro-government opinions and suppressing anti-government views, branding them as pro-North Korean forces’ attempts to disturb state affairs”, reads the statement.
At the time the South Korean leader was the conservative Lee Myung-Bak, and Park Geun-Hye won the presidential election in December 2012 defeating liberal Moon Jae-In.
Park was impeached and dismissed over corruption and abuse of power, the prosecutors accused Park of colluding with Choi Soon-sil to pressure major South Korean companies such as Samsung into paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes in return for business favors.
Moon won South Korea presidential election in May, he started a reform of the National Intelligence Service and ordered a supplementary effort in gathering intelligence on North Korea and foreign affairs.
A spokesman for Park’s party, the Liberty Korea, declared the inquiry was “politically motivated”.
“The NIS says it will dissociate itself from politics but it is meddling in politics again by starting this probe,” Kang Hyo-Sang said in a statement.
The internal probe found former NIS chief Won Sei-Hoon orchestrated a campaign against Moon, muzzling the press and supporting pro-government conservative civic groups. The agency also spied on major opposition politicians.
The NIS was also accused of building a false spying case against a former Seoul city official who had escaped to South Korea from the North in 2004.
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(Security Affairs – National Intelligence Service, PSYOPs)