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George Blake’s self-serving duplicity is clear

01 April, 2021

George Blake. Photo: Wiki Commons

• AS a former British Ambassador to Korea, I was startled to read Wilson John Haire’s attempt to condone George Blake’s treachery, (Blake has his principles, March 25).

To equate the recent ruling that MI5 may occasionally breach the law with the work of the KGB to which George Blake offered his services is grotesque.

As the courts recognised, the Security Services need a degree of latitude if they are effectively to penetrate those planning terrorist attacks on our streets.

The KGB for whom George Blake worked was at the time, and he knew this, murdering tens of thousands of its own citizens in Stalin’s purges and in the gulags they ran.

To suggest that the bombing of North Korea he witnessed excused his behaviour is even more bizarre.

It was taking place in an effort to reverse the unprovoked invasion of South Korea which had resulted in the death of over a million fellow Koreans.

The young American POWs he saw dying were the victims of the unbelievably brutal treatment they received on their forced march to the north and then in the camps.

Over 40 per cent of all American prisoners died in communist captivity. Blake’s response was not sympathy but contempt.

Simon Kuper was absolutely right to state that Blake, an experienced intelligence officer, was preposterous when later claiming that he sought an assurance that none of the hundreds of western agents he betrayed would be harmed.

He cannot possibly have imagined that the KGB would pay the slightest attention to such a request even if, improbably, it had ever been made.

One has only to look at the difference between today’s South Korean democracy and Kim Jong Un’s bloody autocracy in the north to understand the scale of Blake’s immorality and self-serving duplicity.

SIR THOMAS HARRIS, N6

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