South Korea Busts Attempt To Sell Technology To U.S.

Engineers accussed of trying to sell mobile Internet technology.

South Korean prosecutors have indicted four engineers for allegedly trying to sell mobile Internet technology to the U.S. for $190 million, a news report said May 20. Three former and one current worker at Posdata, affiliated with the country's top steelmaker POSCO, tried to sell its "Wibro" high-speed wireless Internet technology, Yonhap news agency said quoting a prosecution statement. The three received secret information from the serving Posdata employee, identified only by his family name Hwang, through e-mails or portable hard discs since October last year, it said.

The Wibro, or Wireless Broadband, refers to South Korea's homegrown next-generation technology which allows people to enjoy high-speed Internet while driving a car or traveling by train.

The technology theft was checked and stopped before the "core" data was handed over to a U.S. technology firm, only identified by its initial "I" which the trio was working for, it said. They had planned to sell the technology to an unnamed U.S. communications company for 180 billion won (US$193 million), said the report.

Posdata, which has spent 90 billion won in developing the new technology, filed a lawsuit with a US court last week. Prosecutors have arrested Hwang, the incumbent Posdata employee, and are seeking the repatriation of the trio, believed to be in the U.S.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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