Can anyone explain this? Former NASA researcher pleads guilty to selling weapons technology to South Korea

Peter Krouse - The Plain Dealer - January 20, 2011

J4JP Comment:

A reader forwarded the article below to Justice4JPnews with a question: "Can anyone explain this? Ask the Justice Department to explain this compared to the time Pollard has spent in jail!" Kue Sang Chun is facing 2 years in prison! Pollard is in his 26th year of a life sentence with no end in sight.

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A former NASA Glenn Research Center employee will likely spend at least two years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to illegally exporting restricted technology to South Korea.

The equipment sold by Kue Sang Chun, 67, of Avon Lake, included components for use in night-vision scopes that could be used for mounting on rifles, assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Kern said.

Chun admitted using his position as a researcher at NASA to acquire the parts, which he then illegally sold to a South Korea defense contractor. The parts are on the U.S. Munitions List and cannot be exported without a license or written authorization from the U.S. State Department.

He acquired the components from a business that had been part of Boeing Corp. but was sold to DRS Technologies Inc., which is based in Parsippany, N.J.

The crimes occurred between 2002 and 2005, Kern said. Chun retired from his NASA job in 2008 after many years with the agency.

His lawyer John McCaffrey said after the hearing that his client's case does not involve espionage, treason or terrorism. He added that South Korea is a vital and strategic ally of the United States.

Chun, who was born in South Korea and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, is hoping to get credit for cooperating with federal prosecutors. If he gets full credit, sentencing guidelines will likely call for a prison term of 24-30 months.

U.S. District Judge James Gwin remarked that the potential credit Chun could receive is greater than usual. Chun's sentencing was tentatively scheduled for April. Kern said he would provide details of Chun's cooperation to the judge but that he would like to do so privately given the sensitivity of the information.

Chun, who runs a consulting business here, had hoped to return to South Korea before his sentencing to continue a teaching job there. But Gwin denied that request.

The recently divorced Chun currently sleeps in his Westlake office, McCaffrey said.

View original article.