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No end in sight for summit transcript controversy

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Published : 2013-10-06 20:14
Updated : 2013-10-06 20:14

The developments surrounding the 2007 inter-Korean summit transcript appear likely to continue bogging down the National Assembly as the ruling Saenuri Party pushes for the disclosure of the voice recording of the meeting.

Last week, the prosecutors’ office announced that the transcript was never transferred to the National Archives, and that they had found and reconstructed a deleted version that has “significant differences” to the copy in the National Intelligence Service’s possession and that found in the e-Jiwon system in place in late President Roh Moo-hyun’s retirement home in Bongha, South Gyeongsang Province. The prosecution plans to begin summoning Roh administration officials who were involved in the making and keeping of the presidential records this week.

As such, Saenuri Party lawmakers have called for access to the recording of the meeting in order to put an end to the controversy.

In addition, the Saenuri Party is also focusing on Rep. Moon Jae-in’s role in the developments surrounding the transcript, with some of its members saying that the former presidential candidate should be investigated if necessary.

The DP, for its part, hopes to avoid clashing heads over the issue for the time being, focusing instead on President Park Geun-hye’s election pledges her administration has so far failed to keep.

Rep. Chyung Ho-joon told reporters that the party will raise “policy problems” regarding Park’s pledges including the basic pension system within the parliament.

In addition, the DP is calling for an investigation into how Park’s aides gained access to the transcript in the run up to the Dec. 19 presidential election.

Saenuri Party’s Rep. Kim Moo-sung and Korean Ambassador to China Kwon Young-se are accused of having had access to the transcript and using Roh’s alleged concession of the NLL against Moon’s campaign.

The summit between Roh and deceased North Korean leader Kim Jong-il became the central topic in October last year following Saenuri Party lawmakers’ claims that Roh denied the validity of the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea. The NLL, the de facto maritime border, has been a source of conflict between the two Koreas for decades with Pyongyang claiming that it holds no significance.

Earlier this year the two main parties viewed the presidential records in an attempt to conclude the issue, but related efforts only led to a wider controversy when the transcript was found to be missing.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)

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