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Prosecution to announce probe results on summit transcript Friday

   (Yonhap) -- The prosecution said Thursday it will announce on the following day the outcome of its investigation into suspicions surrounding the disappearance of the transcript of the 2007 inter-Korean summit.

   The announcement will be made at 2 p.m. Friday at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in southern Seoul, the prosecution said.

   The minutes, which transcribe the summit talks between then South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, raised political controversy after the ruling Saenuri Party claimed that Roh offered to surrender the western maritime border, commonly called the Northern Limit Line (NLL), to North Korea during the summit.

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

   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 rival parties agreed earlier this year to settle the dispute by jointly viewing the transcript, but discovered to their surprise that it was missing from the state archives.

   After a search through the National Archives of Korea, prosecutors concluded last month that the minutes were deleted from the electronic documentation system of Roh's presidential office and were never filed with the state archives.

   Based on the findings, prosecutors have been questioning former Roh administration officials, including Rep. Moon Jae-in of the main opposition Democratic Party, since early last month to uncover why the transcript was not transferred to the archives.

The officials being questioned were those involved in the production, management and transfer of presidential records at that time.

   Moon, who was Roh's chief of staff at the time of the 2007 summit, oversaw both the preparation of the summit records and their transfer to the archives, prosecutors said.

   Prosecutors have tentatively concluded that the former government officials purposely deleted the original transcript of the summit minutes and did not transfer a revised version to the state archives at Roh's instructions, according to sources close to the investigation.

   The officials, if found to have purposely deleted the transcript, can face criminal punishment for violating laws on the management of presidential records.

   The former Roh officials have admitted that Roh instructed a revision of the original transcript in order to correct some minor errors and incorrect descriptions, but argued that not sending the revised version to the archives was a simple, technical mistake one of them made.

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