Leaks sabotage the nationThe Korean delegation for the KORUS FTA saw their strategy report leaked during the last phase of negotiations. The report was an exclusive document open only to a special KORUS FTA committee of the National Assembly at the beginning of the sixth round of negotiations.
Since FTA negotiations are carried out on behalf of citizens, the government released the document to lawmakers, the representatives of citizens, in return for a promise that they would keep the information confidential.
Negotiation strategies are strategic plans in a fierce diplomatic war. To release them is similar to sending our troops to the battlefield after telling the enemy everything they plan to do. To send strategic information to the enemy during a war is a serious criminal offense, along the same lines as espionage or rebellion. This grave offense was committed by one of our lawmakers.
An independent investigation has already been set in motion by the Korea Broadcasting Committee since some of the leaked documents involved strategies for opening broadcasting markets.
Confidential documents concerning national secrets have been given to the public by none other than the lawmakers and officials sitting on a government committee. The security of life and property is at stake, not to mention the collapse of public officials’ morale.
We are aware that there are groups of people who oppose the FTA and want to see negotiations fail.
There is suspicion that those who released the strategy and secret documents wanted to nullify the KORUS FTA negotiations. But they crossed a line that they should have observed.
Who leaked the documents should be closely investigated and those implicated should be held legally and morally responsible. The fact that it is lawmakers, the representatives of the people, and public officials on the broadcasting committee who are suspected makes the situation that much more egregious.
We are worried that in this administration the leakage of national secrets seems to take place widely, from the National Assembly to the Blue House.
One can never rest assured that information regarding the safety of the nation will not find a crack through which it can leak.
We should use this opportunity to take measures to safeguard national secrets and to eradicate attempts to disclose them.