The Seoul District Court in South Korea sentenced five people to jail Monday for spying for North Korea. Group ringleader Korean-American Michael Jang received a nine-year sentence for encouraging anti-US sentiment in South Korea under orders from North Korea in 2005. Jang initiated contact with North Korean agents in 1998 and first established a spy ring to pass secret information to North Korea in 2002. The other group members were sentenced to between four and six year terms for violating an anti-communist National Security Law.
The group was indicted by South Korean officials last December in what has been labeled the largest spy case since the two countries began reconciliation at a North-South summit in 2000. North Korea has accused the case of being a plot by pro-US forces to bolster anti-North Korean feelings in the south.