Kyodo News

Police turned over to prosecutors Friday their case against a confessed North Korean agent suspected of illegally entering the country and assuming a false identity.

The agent, a 73-year-old resident of Nakano Ward, Tokyo, has confessed to running a spy network in Japan. He is suspected of also illegally entering the country in November 1995 from China and using the identity of a pro-Pyongyang Korean resident of Japan when applying for an alien registration card in March 1999.

Police said the man, a former senior official of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryun), a group that favors North Korea, had been working as an agent for Pyongyang since 1993. He entered Japan illegally for the first time in 1949 from South Korea.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, the man has confessed to having been a spy and receiving orders from Pyongyang via the North Korean passenger-cargo ship Man Gyong Bong-92, which plies the Sea of Japan between Niigata and Wonsan, North Korea.

Also Friday, police in Tokyo released documents through which Pyongyang allegedly transmitted orders to the agent. The documents contain, among other information, orders to recruit sympathizers in South Korea and Japan and give deadlines for the recruitment period, police said.

The revelation linking the 9,672-ton ferry to spy activities came to light in Japan in late January. Pyongyang has denied using the ship for espionage purposes.

The ship is mainly used by Korean residents of Japan to visit North Korea and to carry food and other necessities.

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