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April 18, 2014

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SKorean lawmaker gets 12 years for pro-North plot

Updated Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 | 12:45 a.m.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean court has sentenced a left-wing lawmaker to 12 years in prison for plotting a pro-North Korea rebellion in the event of a war on the Korean Peninsula.

Lee Seok-ki from the small United Progressive Party was arrested in September for allegedly discussing attacks on national infrastructure with his colleagues. Tensions were especially high between North and South Korea last spring, prompting fears of war.

Lee denied the allegations. He said Seoul's spy service fabricated the charges to divert public attention from an investigation into alleged illegal online campaigning involving its agents.

The Suwon District Court said in its ruling Monday that Lee's punishment was inevitable because his plot posed a "substantial and apparent threat" to South Korea.

Lee's party says it will appeal.