Roh’s NLL disavowal is confirmed, Suh says

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Roh’s NLL disavowal is confirmed, Suh says

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After reading a report on the inter-Korean summit in 2007 kept by the National Intelligence Service, Suh Sang-kee, center right, chairman of the Intelligence Committee of the National Assembly, tells reporters at a press conference yesterday in the National Assembly that former President Roh Moo-hyun made remarks “giving up the Northern Limit Line” in a conversation with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. By Kim Kyung-bin

Former President Roh Moo-hyun did indeed disavow the de facto maritime border with North Korea at a summit in Pyongyang in 2007, the head of the legislature’s Intelligence Committee confirmed yesterday.

Suh Sang-kee, a ruling Saenuri Party lawmaker and the head of the legislature’s Intelligence Committee, made the bombshell revelation yesterday.

Suh said he requested and received state records of the 2007 inter-Korean summit between then-president Roh and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-il and read a description of the meeting between the two leaders.

Roh told Kim he didn’t recognize the Northern Limit Line, the western maritime border drawn up after the 1950-53 Korean War, as a boundary, Suh said.

“I officially requested the National Intelligence Service open the record on former President Roh’s alleged comments on the NLL,” Suh said at a press briefing yesterday that opposition lawmakers refused to attend.

“As a result of looking into the record,” he said, “I confirmed Roh made a comment aimed at disavowing the NLL.”

“This is consistent with the two conclusions made by the prosecution’s probes,” he continued. “Now the truth is revealed, and the opposition parties, which have denied Roh made such remarks, must take their own responsibility for lying to the public.”

Whether the late president disavowed the NLL was a hot political issue ahead of last December’s presidential election.

Last October, Chung Moon-hun, a Saenuri Party lawmaker, said that a transcript existed of a conversation between Roh and Kim at a closed-door meeting on the sidelines of the summit.

Chung said Roh described the border as “a line unilaterally drawn by the United States, which wanted to conquer more territory” and he went on to tell Kim, “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.”

Suh said the NIS gave him an eight-page document summarizing the secret meeting, which he read with four other Saenuri lawmakers who are members of his committee.

He said the record was kind of “a report” to the Blue House, not the transcript that Chung described.



BY KIM HEE-JIN [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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