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Former NIS official, rightist group suspected of trying to have Kim's Nobel prize canceled

Prosecutors are looking into a former intelligence official's alleged collaboration with a rightist civic group seeking to have the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to former President Kim Dae-jung revoked, officials said Sunday.

A prosecution team investigating the National Intelligence Service's interference with politics and blacklisting of celebrities has recently examined emails exchanged between a former agency official and a conservative activist.

The investigators found that after Kim died in August 2009, they discussed a plan to petition the Norwegian Nobel Committee to strip Kim of the prize in a bid to block nationwide mourning for the former liberal leader worsening public sentiment against then conservative President Lee Myung-bak. 


Kim received the award for holding the first-ever inter-Korean summit in June 2000.

An NIS truth panel discovered the emails during its own probe into the agency's past wrongdoings and handed them to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office.

The right-wing NGO was one of the harshest critics of Kim and liberal politicians. Right after Kim's death, the group issued a statement condemning him for politically exploiting regional sentiments and undermining national identity by adopting the June 2000 inter-Korean summit agreement.

The following year, the group also accused Kim of engaging in "inappropriate maneuvering and dealings to receive the Nobel Peace Prize." (Yonhap)