Early this month, media reports revealed improper relations between Deng Xinming, a Chinese woman in her early 30s, and several diplomats at the Korea’s consulate in Shanghai. During the two-week media firestorm that followed, she was portrayed as a Mata Hari figure, using charm and sex to get confidential intelligence from the diplomats.
Private correspondence between her and the alleged lovers and photographs of her with them were splashed on the front pages of local newspapers, which also reported that the besotted officials passed her some official documents. Early last week, the government dispatched a 10-member emergency commission to Shanghai to look into what some South Korean newspapers were calling a Korean version of “Lust, Caution” — a Chinese movie in which a beautiful spy falls in love with a man on the other side.
Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” Trailer /em>
But the commission’s week-long investigation, while concluding there was “lax discipline among Korean officials,” determined that none of the government documents handed to Ms. Deng — 19 in all — was classified as confidential. According to the probe, Ms. Deng is no more than a visa broker, using her consular friends for favors in issuing visas. It is not known whether she profited by doing so. The government team didn’t investigate Ms. Deng.