Saenuri requests NLL fiasco probe

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Saenuri requests NLL fiasco probe

The ruling Saenuri Party yesterday asked prosecutors to investigate former Roh Moo-hyun administration officials who might be involved in the disappearance of the transcript from the 2007 inter-Korean summit.

Saenuri spokesperson Hong Ji-man said in a press briefing at the National Assembly in Yeouido, western Seoul, that the party officially filed a complaint with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office at 11:40 a.m. to find out whether the transcript was destroyed by the Roh administration.

Since October, the ruling and main opposition Democratic Party have been squabbling over claims that Roh disavowed the Northern Limit Line, the de facto western maritime border, during the 2007 summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Three days ago, the ruling and the opposition parties concluded that the National Archives doesn’t have the original transcript from the talks.

Lawmakers from the two parties tried last week to locate the original transcript in the National Archives in Seongnam, Gyeonggi, where it was supposed to be transferred at the end of the Roh administration.

“An investigation is necessary to find the truth of this unprecedented disappearance of a top-level, confidential document,” Hong told reporters.

“We need to investigate anyone who may be involved in destroying the NLL transcript.”

The Saenuri Party didn’t name any individuals in its complaint, but obvious targets from the Roh administration include Moon Jae-in, Roh’s chief of staff and the failed DP candidate in last year’s presidential election, as well as Kim Man-bok, the former chief of the National Intelligence Service.

Officials of the National Archives during the Roh and Lee Myung-bak administrations will also likely be investigated.

“Moon should stop speaking about this issue on Twitter and reveal the truth about how they managed the transcript,” Hong said.

“When we look at reports that the media have been producing and testimonies of people involved in the case, the possibility is very low that the transcript was destroyed by the Lee administration.”

While the ruling party was pinning the problem on the liberal party, the DP itself experienced an internal rift yesterday. At 9:30 a.m., DP lawmaker Cho Kyuong-tae held a press conference urging Moon to take responsibility for the controversy.

“The party initially wanted to investigate this before we went to the National Archives and the reason we changed our stance was because Moon strongly wanted to open the transcript first,” Cho told reporters.

“He said that he will retire from politics if Roh ever said such things about giving up the NLL, and now he’s just saying the dispute about the NLL remarks should end,” Cho said. “He is trying to evade all responsibility for his behavior.”

Cho is known as a leader of the anti-Roh faction of the party. Moon is in the faction of Roh loyalists.


BY LEE SO-AH, KWON SANG-SOO [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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