Rep says Roh didn’t recognize NLL

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Rep says Roh didn’t recognize NLL

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2007년 남북 정상회담 마지막 날 평양 백화원 영빈관에서 열린 환송 오찬에서 이야기를 나누고 있는 노무현 전 대통령과 김정일 국방위원장. [중앙포토]

A recently discovered document shows that in 2007, the late liberal President Roh Moo-hyun told former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il that he didn’t recognize the inter-Korean maritime border drawn up after the Korean War as an effective boundary between the two countries, a ruling party lawmaker said yesterday.

Chung Moon-hun, a Gangwon-based lawmaker for the ruling Saenuri Party, said in a parliamentary audit conducted by the Ministry of Unification that a transcript exists of a secret dialogue between Roh and Kim at a bilateral, closed-door meeting on the sidelines of the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang in 2007.

“At 3 p.m., on Oct. 3, 2007, there was a one-on-one, closed-door meeting at the Paekhwawon state guesthouse between Roh and Kim,” Chung said.

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“At the time, all of the conversations were recorded and North Korean officials shared the record with their South Korean counterparts, saying it should be kept secret.”

In the dialogue, Roh reportedly said that he “has a headache because of the Northern Limit Line,” which he described as “a line unilaterally drawn by the United States which wanted to conquer more territory.”

And Roh also reportedly said that “South Korea won’t recognize the NLL anymore and all the disputes surrounding the line will be resolved if the two Koreas carry out some joint fishing activities.”

A month after the summit, Roh made similar comments in a speech at an event held by the National Unification Advisory Council, a presidential organization overseeing unification, Chung said.

“Roh told his people to discard the transcript, but it [and its duplicates] still remain at the Ministry of Unification and the National Intelligence Service,” Chung said.

Chung also said that Roh allegedly supported North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

According to the transcript, Roh said he “traveled all around the world promoting it as the right thing that North Korea possesses nuclear weapons,” and he did that “as a spokesman for North Korea.”

Aside from that, Chung cited that Roh “promised a large-scale offer of economic aid” and “agreed with the North Korean leader’s position on the matters of evacuating U.S. forces stationed in the South and the unification of the two Koreas.”

Chung urged the government to make the transcript public.

However, Kim Man-bok, who was a former NIS chief under the Roh administration, told JoongAng Ilbo yesterday that he attended the meeting along with Roh at the time, and it is true that he made a transcript of the dialogue. But he said that Chung’s argument isn’t true.

“At the time, North Korea didn’t allow us to record the dialogue, so we just made some notes about it as a transcript,” Kim said. “But what Chung argues is just all rumors aimed at attacking the former president.”

By Kim Hee-jin, Lee Young-jong [heejin@joongang.co.kr]
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