Saenuri wants all reps to commit to the NLL

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Saenuri wants all reps to commit to the NLL

The ruling party yesterday proposed that the country’s politicians reaffirm their commitment to the Northern Limit Line, the de facto western sea border with North Korea, following the revelation that former president Roh Moo-hyun disavowed it at a Pyongyang summit in 2007.

“At the plenary session yesterday, the ruling and opposition lawmakers debated the National Intelligence Service’s disclosure of a secret dialogue between leaders of the two Koreas at their 2007 summit,” Saenuri Chairman Hwang Woo-yea said yesterday at the ruling party’s leadership meeting.

“The National Assembly’s discussion must start from redefining the position of the ruling and opposition parties because then-President Roh Moo-hyun’s position toward the Northern Limit Line was clearly laid bare,” Hwang said.

On Monday, the nation’s main spy agency made the unprecedented move of releasing the transcript of the dialogue between Roh and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il by declassifying it.

Although the NIS said it wanted to end months of political feuding surrounding the allegation that Roh had disavowed the border at the summit, the release has only increased it.

“The Democratic Party must say clearly before the public whether it supports Roh’s position or not,” Hwang said. “What the two parties must do now is to declare a clear and concurring view about the NLL to unify public opinion and bolster national security.

“I want the ruling and opposition parties to make a clear, joint declaration on the NLL during the June session.”

Democratic Party Chairman Kim Han-gill stepped up his attacks on the Saenuri Party and the NIS at a party leadership meeting.

“The Roh administration made no attempt to give up the NLL,” Kim said. “And the NLL is still defended strongly and the Democrats will take initiative to do so in the future.”

He also criticized Nam Jae-joon, director of the NIS, for harming the national interest by declassifying the summit transcript.

The DP has asked for the transcript of the meeting from the national archive to be made public, suspecting the NIS manipulated its transcript.

“Now that the dialogue was made public unlawfully, I propose the Saenuri Party follow the necessary legal process to disclose the transcript of the 2007 summit and other related records from the National Archives,” Kim said. “I think we should use this opportunity to put a final end to the wasteful debate on Roh’s alleged remarks about the NLL.”

The Saenuri Party yesterday said it welcomes Kim’s proposal.

“Some people still say that the recently disclosed transcript was manipulated by the NIS,” said Representative Yoo Il-ho, spokesman of the Saenuri Party. “So we should access the National Archives’ record by obtaining two-thirds of the National Assembly’s approval according to the law.”

Meanwhile, floor leaders of the Saenuri and Democratic parties yesterday met to discuss specifics of the National Assembly investigation into the NIS’s alleged interference in the last year’s presidential election.

Although they agreed to start the probe on July 2, they continued to argue over its scope, the formation of the special committee to oversee it and the selection of the witnesses.

The Democratic Party also submitted a bill to the National Assembly to virtually shut down the National Intelligence Service.

The bill seeks to change the agency’s name to the Unification and Overseas Intelligence Service and take away its power to gather domestic intelligence.

The Democrats also seek to take away the agency’s investigative rights and allow the impeachment of the director of the service.


BY SER MYO-JA [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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