Consul general did not give info to Deng: source

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Consul general did not give info to Deng: source

The Seoul officials investigating an alleged leak of classified information by Korean diplomats to Deng Xinming, the Shanghai siren, have concluded that former Korean Consul General Kim Jung-ki did not give the information to Deng, a government source told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday.

Kim, criticized initially for lax management at work that allowed an alleged love scandal between his junior consuls and Deng, later emerged as being suspect himself for leaking the information as photos surfaced showing him and Deng in intimate poses.

“The on-site investigation in China by the government’s joint investigation team disclosed that the ‘meta-data’ of the photos were fabricated,” said the source. The meta-data of a photo shows the date the photo was taken and other technical aspects of the photo. “The meta-data can be easily changed by the use of a computer program,” the source said.

One of the photos referred to by the source is the photo showing a list of the telephone numbers of around 200 high-profile government and business figures in Korea, which Deng was holding in her flash memory.

The photo was known to have been taken a few hours after Kim and Deng met at a diplomatic event at the Shanghai Hilton Hotel on June 1, 2010, as was shown in another one of Deng’s photos, triggering suspicion that Kim spent many hours with Deng on the day and gave the information to Deng. Kim held the list at the time.

Kim has claimed that somebody was setting him up with manipulated photos and the stolen list. He has said he was staying in a hotel at the time that the digital information of the photo showing the list showed it was taken.

The joint investigation team confirmed that Kim was indeed attending the diplomatic event at the time, the source said.

The background of the photo of the list appeared to be a hotel room, adding to the suspicion that Kim had taken time to be with Deng in a room at the same hotel.

But the investigators determined that the room shown in the background was not at the Hilton Hotel, the source said.

Whoever retouched the meta-data of the photos remains unknown, the source said.


By Lee Chul-jae, Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]


Related Korean Article[중앙일보]

“김정기·덩신밍 사진 정보 누군가 조작”

합조단 조사결과 25일께 발표

김정기 전 상하이 총영사가 ‘상하이 스캔들’의 중국 여성 덩신밍(鄧新明·등신명·33)과 함께 찍은 사진이 조작됐다고 정부 관계자가 22일 밝혔다. 이 관계자는 “정부합동조사단(합조단)의 중국 현지 조사 결과 메타데이터(촬영정보)가 누군가에 의해 조작된 걸 확인했다”며 “컴퓨터 프로그램을 사용할 경우 메타데이터를 손쉽게 바꿀 수 있다”고 말했다.

합조단은 상하이에서 추가로 입수한 사진들을 조사한 결과 김 전 총영사는 메타데이터에 나오는 정치인 연락처 촬영 시점에 호텔 행사장에 머물렀다는 사실을 확인했다. 연락처 사진에 나오는 배경도 힐튼호텔이 아닌 것으로 드러나 호텔에서 연락처를 주고받지 않았다는 게 합조단의 조사결과다. 합조단은 조사 내용을 이르면 25일께 발표한다.

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