Russia has detained a South Korean national for the first time on cyber espionage charges and transferred from Vladivostok to Moscow for further investigation.

The development was first reported by Russian news agency TASS.

"During the investigation of an espionage case, a South Korean citizen Baek Won-soon was identified and detained in Vladivostok, and put into custody under a court order," an unnamed source was quoted as saying.

Won-soon has been accused of handing over classified "top secret" information to unnamed foreign intelligence agencies.


According to the agency, Won-soon was detained in Vladivostok earlier this year and shifted to Moscow late last month. He is said to be currently at the Lefortovo pretrial detention center. His arrest has been extended for another three months, until June 15, 2024.

The detention center is currently also the place where American journalist Evan Gershkovich is being held, awaiting trial on suspicion of espionage. Gershkovich has denied the charges.

The development comes amid burgeoning geopolitical ties between Russia and North Korea, even as state-sponsored hacking groups associated with the latter have targeted the Kremlin to pursue their strategic intelligence-gathering missions.

It also comes days after the U.S. arrested a former Google engineer for allegedly stealing proprietary information from the tech giant while covertly working for two China-based companies, including one founded by him last year prior to his resignation.

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