Korean 'Mata Hari' Was More Likely a Patsy

1950 execution of 'spy,' seductress was result of witchhunt: inquiry
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2008 9:46 AM CDT
Korean 'Mata Hari' Was More Likely a Patsy
Seoul socialite Kim Soo-im was put to death over charges of spying for North Korean communists%u2014a charge now being reconsidered as dubious.   (AP)

In the thick of Cold War suspicion in 1950, South Korean socialite Kim Soo-im was executed as a wily seductress who passed secrets from her US army lover to another in North Korea. But the hasty trial and execution of the 'Korean Mata Hari' was based on charges trumped up in an anticommunist frenzy, reports the AP in a new look through six-decade-old documents.

Kim's illegitimate son with the US colonel has now teamed with a movie director to unveil the truth surrounding his mother. They found a declassified government inquiry that said the colonel had no access to secrets; likewise, Kim's "confession" to a Korean military court notorious for fabricating evidence was likely the result of waterboarding. "He betrayed her," says the director. "He had a high position and the power to save her. But he just flew back stateside to his American family."
(Read more Kim Soo-im stories.)

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