I love the Le Carre/Clouseau madness of the story out of Canberra this morning, with ASIO nabbing a bunch of South Korean NIS villains wot had been doin' terrible things to our state secrets and stuff.
Of course, when you spy on Australia, the state secrets are all about teh farming, but nevermind.
ASIO nabbed four of these characters trying to have their way with our precious beef secrets and then turned themselves inside out trying to pretend nothing had happened, because of course South Korea is a very good friend and would never do anything as dodgy as that. It all came asunder in court this week.
Although engaged in what ASIO described as "inappropriate activities" harmful to Australia's interests, no South Korean spies have been expelled from Australia. Instead, in an effort to maintain good relations with the NIS, ASIO took legal action to prevent disclosure of the incident and protect the identities of the South Korean agents so they might continue their clandestine careers.
Naming the four NIS agents (South Korean embassy minister-counsellor Hoo-Young Park, minister-counsellors Bum-Yeon Lee and Sa-Yong Hong, and some mystery guy called Kim) would apparently damage relations between Seoul and Canberra more than the foiled spy-op.
On that basis perhaps ASIO should have just let them have at it. Or even handed over the information they wanted so the NIS didn't have to go to the trouble of subverting a senior public servant.
Got to keep things sweet, after all.