Roh’s document man questioned

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Roh’s document man questioned

A former presidential secretary for the Roh Moo-hyun administration was called in for questioning over whether the late president directed him to destroy the record of his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2007.

Lim Sang-Kyung, who served the Roh Blue House as the presidential secretary for documentation, was questioned at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office in Seoul over the transcript of the 2007 inter-Korean summit between Roh and Kim, which is missing from the National Archives.

Lim was in charge of all presidential records under the Roh government, and then he was moved to the National Archives to become the first chief of the Presidential Archives. He oversaw the transfer of the presidential records from the Blue House to the National Archives at the end of Roh’s term.

The prosecution was expected of asking Lim a series of questions regarding the transcript, including: Why was the transcript deleted from the e-jiwon, an electronic archive system at the Blue House, during the Roh administration; Why was it not transferred to the National Archives?; and whether Roh or his chief of staff, Moon Jae-in, ordered him to delete all the materials regarding the 2007 summit.

So far, Lim has publicly said that all records of the Roh administration were transferred to the National Archives.

Lim was the second official of the Roh government who attended a questioning by prosecutors following Cho Myoung-gyon, a former security policy secretary, who appeared on Oct. 5.

After questioning Lim, the prosecution is expected to call another former presidential secretary in charge of documentation, Kim Jeong-ho, who was the last secretary under the Roh government in charge of presidential records.

A series of former high-ranking officials who worked for the Roh government could be called soon as well, according to the prosecution, including Lee Chang-wu, a former senior administrative official at the Presidential Archives; Min Gi-yeong, a former presidential secretary in charge of inventing the e-jiwon system; and Moon Jae-in, former chief of Roh’s presidential staff and last year’s liberal candidate for president.

The 2007 summit became an issue in last year’s campaign because ruling party figures said Roh had disavowed the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border in the Yellow Sea, in his conversation with Kim Jong-il.

In the past few months, what happened to the original transcript of the conversation has become almost as important as what was said at the meeting. At the end of Roh’s term, it was supposed to go to the National Archives but didn’t. On Wednesday, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said it found traces of the transcript on Roh’s personal computer record system in his hometown of Bongha Village in South Gyeongsang and managed to restore it.

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

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