Roh fiddled with transcript, says Hankook Ilbo
Former President Roh Moo-hyun ordered his Blue House staff to revise the initial version of the transcript of his 2007 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in which he allegedly disavowed the de facto maritime border in the Yellow Sea.
Sources from the prosecution told the Hankook Ilbo Sunday that Roh wrote a memo on Oct. 21, 2007, in which he ordered his subordinates to “review” the initial version of the transcript and “revise” some of his comments.
“You did a good job with the transcript,” Roh said in the memo, according to the sources. “But let’s review the transcript in order to refine [some expressions].”
One of the expressions he denied was that he wanted to “wrap up the matter of the NLL within my term.”
“The transcript says I said I wanted to resolve [the matter of the NLL] within my term,” Roh said. “But at the summit, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il agreed [with me] to deal with the matter of the NLL after my term. We should deal with this comment wisely.”
The NLL refers to the Northern Limit Line, the de facto sea border that North Korea has never accepted. During last year’s presidential campaign, the late Roh was accused of disavowing the NLL during the summit, which was held Oct. 2-4 in 2007. Since then, a copy of the transcript of his conversation with Kim was declassified by the National Intelligence Service, but the original was discovered missing from the National Archives. A copy of the original was restored from Roh’s personal computer records.
According to the Hankook Ilbo’s sources, on Oct. 9, 2007, Cho Myoung-gyon, Roh’s security policy secretary who attended the summit, inputted the initial version on the e-jiwon, an electronic archive system of the Roh administration. Roh opened the transcript and left the memo.
“I found there were a lot of things that Secretary Cho forgot,” Roh wrote in the memo. “Some other expressions need to be revised or refined.”
A former aide to Roh told Yonhap News Agency yesterday that there’s nothing unusual about revising a transcript if its contents are incorrect.
Sources in the prosecution told the Hankook Ilbo that they suspect the original transcript was deliberately revised and later deleted to cover up Roh’s alleged remarks disavowing the NLL.
BY KIM HEE-JIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]