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Former US analyst pleads guilty in leak to reporter

Published on Feb 8, 2014 6:08 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - A former United States (US) State Department analyst pleaded guilty on Friday to sharing secret information about North Korea with a reporter for Fox News, becoming the latest government employee convicted in a campaign against unapproved leaks to the media.

Stephen Kim, 46, entered the plea in US District Court to avoid a trial scheduled for April. Under an agreement with prosecutors, he admitted to the unauthorised disclosure of US national defence information but will not face a charge that he lied about the leak to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Kim's attorneys and prosecutors agreed on a sentence of 13 months in prison, but that is subject to the approval of Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. She scheduled sentencing for April 2.

The case is one of 11 times in US history that prosecutors have brought charges for disclosing information to a newspaper, blog or other media outlet. Eight cases have been brought since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

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