A South Korean immigrant livingin the US city of Los Angeles has been arrested for allegedly spying for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), localmedia reported on Wednesday.
Joung W. Yai, 59, who lives in Santa Monica of western Los Angeles, is accused of not being registered in the United States as a foreign agent, the Los Angeles Times reported.
FBI spokeswoman Cheryl Mimura confirmed that FBI agents executed arrest and search warrants at a Santa Monica home on Tuesday afternoon and that documents seeking the warrants had beensealed by the U.S. Central District Court.
Yai, who has lived in the US for at least 20 years, is suspected of trying to obtain classified documents and pass them on to the DPRK. It was not immediately known what type of documents he allegedly sought or whether he actually obtained them.
But Yai's sister-in-law, Young Ro, said she was certain her brother-in-law was innocent.
"He does not have a lot of friends, only his family," said Ro, 47. "He loves his work, and he loves his kids. He doesn't have time for other things."
She said he has owned a grocery store in Inglewood and a woman's clothing store in Los Angeles and once had an interest in a Santa Monica restaurant.
Residents at the apartment building where Yai was arrested saidhe has been living in the building for about eight months with hisparents.