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Prosecution looks into 2007 summit transcripts

Prosecutors are looking into controversial classified transcripts of the 2007 inter-Korean summit meeting, as part of the investigation into allegations that late President Roh Moo-hyun made remarks undermining the legitimacy of the western sea border, according to prosecution sources Wednesday.

After concluding that the transcripts are public records, the Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office has reviewed an abstract version of the documents on the alleged conversation between Roh and late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il during their meeting in Pyongyang six years ago, they said. The National Intelligence Service submitted the document last month.

The investigation is to sort out the ongoing legal battle into claims and counter claims raised by political parties before the Dec. 19 presidential election.

The legal dispute began when several ruling Saenuri Party lawmakers first raised allegations that Roh, a liberal, told the North’s leader that Seoul would not insist on the Yellow Sea border, called the Northern Limit Line, which Pyongyang refuses to recognize as a legitimate maritime border.

The main opposition Democratic United Party refuted the claims, sayings no such remarks were made. The liberal party then lodged accusations against Reps. Chung Moon-hun and Lee Cheol-woo as well as Saenuri spokesman Park Sun-kyoo for spreading lies with the aim of trying to affect the presidential election.

The DUP also lodged accusations against presidential security secretary Chun Yung-woo, who said in late October that he too saw the transcript.

In response, Chung raised counter claims against DUP Chairman Lee Hae-chan at the time.

The DUP argued that all the documents related to the summit are restricted access records that could only be checked if two-thirds of parliament agreed on the screening and a high court judge ordered them to be examined as part of trial proceedings.

The prosecutors, however, have concluded that the transcripts are public records as they were drawn up and stored by the NIS before being designated as restricted access records, according to sources.

Prosecutors said they will summon Chung and several DUP officials starting on Friday to determine if legal charges will be filed based on testimonies and to confirm the contents of the transcripts. (Yonhap News)