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S Korea dancer jailed for contacting North spy

A South Korean court on Tuesday sentenced the head of a traditional dance troupe to four years in prison after he was convicted of passing information to a North Korean spy.

SEOUL: A South Korean court on Tuesday sentenced the head of a traditional dance troupe to four years in prison after he was convicted of passing information to a North Korean spy.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled that Jeon Shik-ryeol, 44, had violated the national security law which bans South Korean citizens from making unauthorised contact with North Koreans.

Jeon, the head of the traditional Korean dance company "Chool", is a member of the left-wing Unified Progressive Party.

Prosecutors said the dancer met a North Korean spy in Shanghai in March 2011, and sent an encoded oath of loyalty to Pyongyang a month later.

He was also convicted of passing on details of a factional feud within his party in 2012.

In February, Lee Seok-ki, a legislator from the same left-wing party as Jeon, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after a rare treason trial saw him convicted of plotting an armed revolt in support of North Korea.

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