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Moon to appear before prosecution over 2007 summit transcript probe

A former chief of staff to late President Roh Moo-hyun will appear before prosecutors Wednesday to face questioning over suspicions surrounding the controversial disappearance of the 2007 inter-Korean summit transcript, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Rep. Moon Jae-in of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), who was chief of staff at the time of the summit in 2007, has been notified to show up at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in southern Seoul at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday.

The summons comes amid consistent political wrangling between the ruling Saenuri Party and the DP over whether the liberal former president Roh offered to surrender the western maritime border to North Korea during the talks with then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Some view Roh's alleged comments as seriously undermining South Korea's sovereignty.

The prosecution office concluded last month that the South-North minutes were deleted from the electronic system of documentation at Roh's presidential office.

The prosecution further said that the transcript had never been filed with the state archives following a search through the National Archives of Korea.

Upon receiving the summons on Saturday, Moon informed the prosecution office through his lawyer that he would "respond confidently," the prosecutors said.

The questioning will be focused on finding out who gave an order not to officially file the summit record with the archives, and details regarding when and why the first draft of the summit's transcript had been deleted, the prosecutors said.

Moon will also be grilled on the difference between the first and the final draft of the summit transcript as the two are different in many ways, they said.

According to prosecutors, there is no clause in the law to charge someone for not officially filing the documents with the national archives, but the behavior of deleting the first draft of the summit records is in violation of the law on the management of presidential records.

North Korea has long demanded that the NLL be redrawn farther south as it was drawn unilaterally by the U.S.-led United Nations Command at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

The DP has accused the ruling party of taking Roh's remarks out of context, saying the late president was simply trying to ease tensions and improve ties with the communist neighbor.

The DP further claimed that the transcript's final edited version had been saved in the electronic archives of Roh's office, citing the prosecution's finding that the final version was found in a copy of the database Roh took with him to his residence at the end of his term.

The ruling party, meanwhile, argued that former Roh administration officials, mainly Moon, should be held accountable for the missing transcript.

The prosecution office said it will soon announce the outcome of the investigation after questioning Moon. (Yonhap News)

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