Roh Moo-hyun’s 2007 words create controversy in 2013One of the hottest controversies of the year was over an old event, the 2007 inter-Korean summit between late President Roh Moo-hyun and late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. It started during the 2012 presidential election when the ruling Saenuri Party accused Roh of disavowing the Northern Limit Line, the de facto western maritime border, at the summit. The opposition Democratic Party denied the claim and condemned the campaign of Park Geun-hye for using a confidential record to gain political advantage.
Democratic Party lawmaker Moon Jae-in, Park’s campaign rival and Roh’s chief of staff at the time of the summit, demanded that the National Intelligence Service reveal the full text of the transcript to verify what Roh actually said. But when lawmakers from both parties searched the National Archives in July to find the original transcript of the summit, they were shocked to discover that the confidential record had disappeared. The prosecution investigation found, about a month after the 2007 presidential election, that Roh had ordered his aides to delete the original transcript of the Pyongyang meeting. Roh committed suicide in May 2009 amid an investigation into a bribery scandal.
Moon still contends that the Roh government guarded the NLL and that Roh’s security policy secretary, who was involved in writing the transcript, simply made a mistake, which was why the final version of the transcript was not transferred to the National Archives.