NLL scandal leads to single prosecution of Chung

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NLL scandal leads to single prosecution of Chung

The prosecution yesterday indicted a ruling party lawmaker for disclosing a state secret regarding former president Roh Moo-hyun’s controversial remarks on the de facto maritime border at a 2007 summit with North Korea, wrapping up its one-year probe of the scandal.

An official from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office told reporters yesterday that they indicted Chung Moon-hun, a lawmaker of the Saenuri Party, for a violation of the Act on the Management of the Public Archives, and demanded a court fine him 5 million won ($4,926).

However, the prosecution cleared other Saenuri Party lawmakers and officials accused of similar charges by the opposition Democratic United Party, a precursor of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy, including Rep. Kim Moo-sung, Rep. Suh Sang-kee, Rep. Cho Won-jin, Rep. Cho Myung-chul, and Rep. Yun Jae-ok, all from the Saenuri Party; Kwon Young-se, the incumbent Korean ambassador to China; Nam Jae-joon, a former National Intelligence Service chief; and Han Ki-beom, a former first deputy chief of the NIS.

The prosecution said it concluded those suspects were innocent because the act only applies to an official “who reveals a state secret that he or she comes to know while working in his or her official duty.”

The prosecution charged Chung of revealing part of the contents of the transcript of the 2007 summit meeting to reporters and the Saenuri Party, which he read when he was a Blue House secretary in the Lee Myung-bak administration.

The prosecution said the cleared suspects were not in charge of the transcript so they did not violate the act.

According to the 103-page transcript that ruling Saenuri Party representatives received from the National Intelligence Service and released to local media in June 2013, former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun told his Northern counterpart Kim Jong-il during a closed-door meeting during the summit that he didn’t accept the Northern Limit Line, or NLL, the western sea border between North and South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

But his remarks were vague.


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

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