The Central Intelligence Agency, whose long-held passion for anonymity already has been steadily eroding of late, may now be poised for a full break into the media spotlight with a weekly television series on its under-cover exploits backed by a wealthy Texas conservative.
A spokesman for the agency acknowledged yesterday that CIA Director Stansfield Turner was approached with the idea earlier this month by Dallas millionaire Gordon McLendon and David Phillips, head of the 2,200-member Association of Former Intelligence Officers.
"Our response has been totally non-committal but we haven't discouraged them," said the spokesman. "With our new policy of openness we wouldn't foreclose working with them or suggesting story lines."
S. K. Kim's description of his defection concluded his two days under direct examination by the prosecution in the cariminal trial of Hancho Kim. Kim, the first person to go to trial on criminal charges in connection with the Korean influence-buying scandal, is charged with conspiring to illegally influence U.S! congressmen and lying to a gran jury investigating the situation.
S. K. Kim is expected to be under cross-examination for at least two days, as the tedious process of questioning him through an interpreter continues before U.S. Distric Court Judge Thomas A. Flannery and a federal jury here.
S.K. Kim testified earlier yesterday that although he deliveres $600,000 in cash to Hancho Kim from the KCIA to allegedly influence U.S. members of Congress, Hancho Kim never told him specifically that he had directly paid off any members. (Hancho Kim has denied receiving any money from S. K. Kim.)
Instead, S. K. Kim said, he received the impression from some of Hancho Kim's statements that payoffs had been made.
"He said such things not in a direct way. As an example, he said he had congressmen make statements favorable to Korea. He also said he had asked that military aid and economic aid to Korea not be reduced," S. K. KIm said through an interpreter.
S. K. Kim said Hancho Kim told him that he had gotten together five congressmen in what he called the "Vanguard Group" to speak on South Korea's behalf in Congress.
The only Congressman named during the trial as being acquainted with Hancho Kim is Tennyson Guyer (R-Ohio), but the indication from the government is that the two were acquainted through a common interest in an Ohio college they had attended.
However, S. K. Kim said Hancho Kim told him that he was "socializing" with other members of Congress through Guyer and had been able to meet then-President Ford though him.
S. K. Kim said Hancho Kim complained he was not getting enough money for the influence-buying project -- code-named "Operation White Snow" -- and asked for more from the KCIA. At the same time, S. K. Kim recounted he was having doubts as to whether Hancho Kim was actually using the money to influence members of Congress.
S. K. Kim also testified yesterday that on numerous occasions he used a Telex machine in Hancho Kim's house to compose messages to the KCIA in Seoul.