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Seoul intensifies crackdown on North Korea spy rings

Move reflects lingering feud between South Korea's conservatives and liberals

Left: Police seal off an area around the headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions in Seoul on Jan. 18. Right: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol stands for the national anthem at the presidential office on Jan. 11. (Source photos by Kyodo and South Korean presidential office)

SEOUL -- South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) has launched a large campaign to break up North Korea's espionage network. The spy agency raided the head office of the country's militant labor federation to crack down on underground subversion rings set up by the North. The move, spearheaded by President Yoon Suk Yeol, illuminates growing antagonism between conservative and liberal camps.

On the morning of Jan. 18, hundreds of police officers surrounded the headquarters in central Seoul of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), which backs the nation's liberal opposition camp.

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