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Presidential office denies existence of secret agreement with North Korea

President Moon Jae-in poses with newly appointed National Intelligence Service Director Park Jie-won on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in poses with newly appointed National Intelligence Service Director Park Jie-won on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Seoul’s presidential office on Wednesday denied the existence of a secret agreement with North Korea to provide $3 billion in return for holding an inter-Korean summit Seoul’s presidential office on Wednesday denied the existence of a secret agreement with North Korea to provide $3 billion in return for holding an inter-Korean summit in 2000.

“Having verified the information with concerned organizations including the Ministry of Unification and the National Intelligence Service, a document referred to as secret agreement does not exist,” a high-level Cheong Wa Dae official said Wednesday. The official also said that the “concerned organizations” include the presidential office, and that if such a document existed, the previous two conservative governments would not have let the matter go uncontested.

The claim that Seoul and Pyongyang signed such an agreement was raised at the confirmation hearing of National Intelligence Service Director Park Jie-won earlier in the week. At the hearing, main opposition United Future Party’s floor leader Rep. Joo Ho-young accused Park of signing the document in early 2000, when Park represented the South in talks to arrange the first-ever inter-Korean summit.

According to Joo, the document states that Seoul will provide $500 million in cash, and $2.5 billion in the form of loans and investment. Joo said that he received the information from a former high-level government official.

Park denied signing such a document, and has since stated that he will take legal action.

While the main opposition took issue with Park over the allegations, President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday appointed Park as the director of the NIS.

At his appointment ceremony, Park said that he will repay Moon by facilitating inter-Korean relations and cleaning the spy agency of its “dark history.”

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