Slideshow: Eight Whistleblowers Charged Under the Espionage Act

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Stephen Jin-Woo Kim

Stephen Jin-Woo Kim (Photo: Stephen Kim Legal Defense Trust)

In 2010, Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a specialist in nuclear proliferation who worked as a contractor for the State Department, pleaded not guilty to charges of leaking information about North Korea to Fox News. He was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury, but the case has not yet been brought to trial.

Fox journalist James Rosen, with whom Kim had been in touch in the past, reported in 2009 that North Korea would likely test another nuclear missile in reaction to a pending United Nations Security Council resolution condemning its nuclear tests. The Justice Department said Kim was Fox’s source.

Kim, who immigrated to the US from South Korea when he was nine years old, told Bloomberg News that “to be accused of doing something against or harmful to US national interest is something I can’t comprehend.” Kim’s lawyers said that he was being charged for participating in the type of exchange between experts and the press “that happen hundreds of times a day in Washington.”

“In its obsession to clamp down on perfectly appropriate conversations between government employees and the press, the Obama administration has forgotten that wise foreign policy must be founded on a two-way conversation between government and the public,” his lawyers said.

In April 2014, Kim was sentenced to 13 months in prison.

John Light is a reporter and producer for the Moyers team. His work has appeared at The Atlantic, Grist, Mother Jones, Salon, Slate, Vox and Al Jazeera, and has been broadcast on Public Radio International. He’s a graduate of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. You can follow him on Twitter at @LightTweeting.

Lauren Feeney is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and multimedia journalist whose work has appeared on air and online at PBS, Al Jazeera English and other outlets. A former producer for Moyers & Company, she was a contributor for PBS’ Need to Know and led web teams for Wide Angle and Women, War & Peace. She is a graduate of Bard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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