Parties promise to stop NLL fight

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Parties promise to stop NLL fight

As prosecutors launched an investigation into the missing transcript from the 2007 inter-Korean summit, the two parties announced that they aren’t going to argue about the issue anymore.

At 2 p.m. yesterday, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office summoned the complainant in the case, the deputy head of the Saenuri’s Office of Planning and Coordination, surnamed Park, as the first step of its probe.

“We will set a timetable for the investigation by the end of the weekend, after we finish questioning Park,” a prosecution spokesman told the JoongAng Ilbo. “We will soon determine which people we need to summon.”

The Saenuri and Democratic parties have been squabbling for months over claims that President Roh Moo-hyun disavowed the Northern Limit Line, the de facto western maritime border, during his 2007 summit meeting with then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Four days ago, the parties concluded that the original transcript from the talks is not at the National Archives of Korea.

Ruling party officials filed a complaint with the prosecution on Thursday, asking it find out whether the documents were destroyed by the Roh administration. The ruling party didn’t name any individuals in its complaint, but the obvious targets include Moon Jae-in, Roh’s former chief of staff and the failed DP candidate in last year’s presidential election, as well as Kim Man-bok, the ex-chief of the National Intelligence Service.

While prosecutors geared up their probe, DP leaders including Chairman Kim Han-gil proposed that the NLL argument be permanently dropped as they visited the Pyeongtaek Naval Base to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 1950-53 Korean War armistice.

“The nation doesn’t want the two parties battling over the NLL issue anymore,” DP Floor Leader Jun Byung-hun said in a press conference held at the base. “We should stop arguing over the NLL issue and also should promise to secure the NLL as we have been all this time.”

The ruling party released a similar statement. Floor Leader Choi Kyung-hwan held a press conference at the National Assembly and said that the party will stop the political clashes over the issue and get back to work stabilizing the economy.

“The reason we filed a complaint to the prosecution was because preserving such confidential transcripts is an important duty for the government,” Choi said. “We will await the result of the prosecution’s investigation to see who must account for the transcript’s disappearance.”

BY KANG IN-SIK AND KWON SANG SOO [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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