The U.S. just gave asylum to a South Korean intelligence agent who leaked state secrets to the press in South Korea. He claimed that he would be persecuted if returned to South Korea. Never mind that the administration that he leaked on is out of power and their opponents are in office. Basically the current administration in South Korea has benefited politically from the leaks about their leftist predecessors. However, much like Auntie Zeituni, Brazilian homosexuals, and Mexican cops, the law has nothing to do with this asylum absurdity. What it did though is allow any criminal from outside the United States, especially those from our allies, eligible to claim asylum if their crime will be prosecuted.
The Korea Times January 26, 2012 by Donald Kirk
WASHINGTON ? A veteran U.S. immigration judge has reached a historic decision in the case of a former operative for South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) who revealed in detail the manipulations and machinations that preceded the June 2000 North-South Korea summit and the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Kim Dae-jung at the height of his presidency.The judge, Charles M. Honeyman, spurning an impassioned appeal by the U.S. government, had granted asylum in the United States to Kim Ki-sam, his wife and two teenage children. In his ruling, the judge at the immigration court in Philadelphia found ''a reasonable possibility” that Kim Ki-sam ''will suffer the alleged persecution upon his return to South Korea” and was ''statutorily eligible for asylum based on his well-founded fear of persecution by the South Korean government and the NIS based on his political opinion.”
What makes the case extraordinary is that Kim Ki-sam is not a refugee or defector from an oppressive regime, such as that of North Korea, but a patriotic South Korean citizen who believed the public had the right to know the tremendous investment of time, money and resources that went into arranging the June 2000 summit between Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il. Kim Ki-sam left South Korea for the United States in 2002 and applied for asylum the next year after revealing much of what he knew to the Korean media. The bottom line of his revelations is that hundreds of millions of dollars, nobody knows exactly how much, flowed into North Korean coffers to grease the path to the summit while the NIS and other agencies lobbied hard for years for the Nobel Prize for Kim Dae-jung.
One cannot blame the NIS for having brought charges against Kim Ki-sam for revealing its inner secrets. Nor can one blame Kim Dae-jung for having wanted to bring about North-South rapprochement in the June 2000 summit. Nobody believes he had any idea that those untold millions would finance a nuclear program in which North Korea has by now conducted two underground nuclear tests and is probably planning a third one to show the power of the regime as Kim Jong-un, his late father’s chosen heir, asserts himself at the behest of a coterie of aging generals.
While it is good to know that the previous leftist administration in South Korea was hand in glove with the Norks and Kim Il-sung, that ain't a reason to get asylum in the U.S. South Korean is a free country with free and fair elections. Its judicial system and laws are respectable.
However, further on we find out why asylum was granted, not based on the law, but on a claim that Kim Ki-Sam did something good and does not deserve to be punished for his crime. A crime that exists in the American penal system, just ask Bradley Manning.
With all due respect for both the NIS and Kim Dae-jung’s Sunshine Policy, however, the world had a right to know the summit was bought at enormous cost in terms of money and, finally, the security of a region amid a rising danger of a nuclear holocaust. Kim Ki-sam poured out his notes to me as I was working on a book, ''Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae-jung and Sunshine,” published shortly after Kim Dae-jung’s death in 2009. The information he gave provided a perspective on modern Korea that was sorely lacking in all my research on Kim Dae-jung’s life and times.
Well, your judgment on the issue is not relevant. The law says persecution based on political beliefs is what asylum is for, not for avoiding criminal prosecution for what would have been criminally prosecuted here as well.
What is really the point though is that the whole family gets asylum. Therefore Kim's sons don't have a term of service in the South Korean Army. That is probably the real reason that Kim came here.