Prosecutors on Monday questioned former spy agency chief Kim Man-bok as part of their investigation into the alleged disposal of the original 2007 inter-Korean summit transcript.
The prosecution also called in Kim Kyung-soo, former speech secretary, for questioning on Tuesday afternoon in their investigation into former President Roh Moo-hyun’s key aides.
Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said Tuesday that Kim Man-bok, who headed the National Intelligence Service at the time of the summit between Roh and then-leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il, was interrogated until late into the night.
|Kim Kyung-soo, former presidential speech secretary, is surrounded by reporters in front of Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)|
Kim is considered to be one of the key figures with knowledge of the summit and the records of the talks that have been found be missing from the National Archives. Kim attended the inter-Korean talks and helped author the meeting records.
Prosecutors have banned Kim, along with other key figures, from leaving the country since the ruling Saenuri Party filed complaints against them for the suspected deletion of the records.
The prosecutors reportedly focused on asking Kim about how the summit records were drawn up and how a copy ended up in the NIS’ possession.
Prosecutors suspect that the meeting transcript was not passed from Cheong Wa Dae’s former database system e-Jiwon to the National Archives and that the first copy of the transcript was disposed of. The revised version was found at the e-Jiwon taken to Bongha Village, the retirement home of Roh, which is said to be similar to the one kept by the NIS. The prosecutors also claim that they have retrieved the deleted version from the Bongha e-Jiwon system and that there are significant discrepancies between the different versions.
Roh’s aides have claimed the transcript was handed over to the NIS for the benefit of Roh’s successors.
Aside from Kim, the prosecution has also questioned Lee Chang-woo, one of Roh’s personal secretaries, who had said on July 18 at a press conference that the transcript was designated as a presidential record and was transferred to the Presidential Archives in the National Archives.
Kim Kyung-soo, meanwhile, has rebuked the prosecution’s findings. He said he believed that of what prosecutors claimed was the first draft, the title section had been deleted. He said this was done so that it would not be transferred to the National Archives along with the revised “final” version of the transcript and cause an overlap.
“If the prosecutors have the intention to clarify the truth, they should be looking into why the final version was not transferred to the National Archives,” Kim said in a statement. “The fastest way to determine whether the first draft should be considered presidential record or not would be to compare it with the final version,” he said.
By Lee Joo-hee (firstname.lastname@example.org)