Two opposition lawmakers quit probe into spy agency scandal

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- Two opposition lawmakers quit a parliamentary investigative committee Wednesday in a move aimed at breaking an impasse in a probe into allegations that the state spy agency meddled in last year's presidential election.

Reps. Kim Hyun and Jin Sun-mee of the main opposition Democratic Party will announce their resignations at a Supreme Council meeting later in the day, party officials said.

The investigation, which began early this month for a 45-day run, aims to uncover the truth behind allegations that former National Intelligence Service (NIS) chief Won Sei-hoon ordered an online smear campaign to sway public opinion in favor of the ruling Saenuri Party ahead of last year's Dec. 19 presidential election.

A third of the investigation period passed while the rival parties wrangled over who should represent each side on the committee.

The ruling party demanded the removal of Reps. Kim and Jin, citing their alleged abuse of an NIS employee accused of posting political comments online as part of the smear campaign against the then opposition presidential candidate Moon Jae-in.

The alleged abuse is also a subject of the parliamentary investigation.

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