As the disputed sea border between North and South Korea, the Northern Limit Line (NLL) is one of the most critical flashpoints on the Korean Peninsula. In recent years, it was the site of the sinking of the ROKS Cheonan and the Bombardment of Yeonpyeong. In 2007, during the second inter-Korean summit, former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun and former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il had a discussion about the NLL. Recently, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) leaked the contents of the NLL discussion, during which President Roh is alleged to have secretly promised to give North Korea the territorial boundary it wanted.
Online reaction to the NLL issue was evenly divided; in this article, some of the most up-voted comments were also some of the most down-voted comments. Given the difficulty of understanding public opinion based on online reaction alone, there was a formal survey as well. According to the survey by Gallup, 53% of the respondents thought President Roh did not promise to give up the NLL, while 24% of them thought he indeed did. 45% of them answered that it was wrong for the NIS to reveal the summit transcript while 35% believed it was appropriate.
From Yonhap News:
‘NLL transcript scandal’ twist after twist…one mistake can be critical
Politics in South Korea have been on a rollercoaster lately, with constant new twists relating to the 2007 inter-Korea summit between deceased former President Roh Moo-hyun and former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
On the 31st of last month when the Saenuri Party (NFP) and the Democratic United Party (DUP) were deciding on the agenda for the National Assembly, the main issue was still investigations into the Jinju Medical Center rather than the NIS election scandal. However, only after several days, as soon as it was known that Minister of Justice Hwang Gyo-an had directed the prosecution to reconsider charging former NIS director Won Sei-hoon with violation of the election law, Yeouido politics began to heat up at the legislature. Eventually, Won Sei-hoon and former Seoul Police Chief Kim Yong-pan were prosecuted without detention and the DUP focused their party power on investigating the NIS scandal. Saenuri was cornered by this strategy, and claimed that investigation into the NIS can commence only after completing investigation on the suspicion of the DUP bribing former and current NIS employees as well as tailing and confining the NIS female employee. However, the Saenuri Party was unable to gather support for their demands and ended up looking they were at a decided disadvantage.
Amid the tedious tug-of-war between the ruling and opposition parties, on June 20th, Saenuri members opened an excerpt of the inter-Korea summit transcript which had been archived by the NIS. Saenuri seized on former President Roh’s statement ‘hinting at abandonment of the NLL’ and began a full offensive on the opposition, demanding accountability. In reaction, the DUP’s investigation of the NIS election interference began to stall. Saenuri tried hard to justify procedural legitimacy in revealing the excerpt copy of the summit transcript by claiming that it was in order to rebut DUP congressman Park Young-seon’s claim that the NLL controversy is a maneuver coordinated by the NIS and Saenuri. Whatever the procedure was, congressman Park ended up providing the cause for retaliation. Due to a separate national security issue that emerged in June, the month dedicated to honoring patriots and veterans, the DUP was already on the defensive. By the end of the month, there was a dramatic reversal of the offensive and the defensive movements in politics.
The battle has sharpened as Saenuri pressured the DUP, calling them ‘a party lacking a sense of national security’, while the DUP accused Saenuri of illegally revealing the summit transcript. When the full summit transcript was revealed by the NIS on the 24th, it seemed Saenuri took the upper hand. They were about to claim that it was proven that former President Roh was on the verge of surrendering the NLL to North Korea. However, it became clear that there were some differences between the full transcript and the excerpt copy, a disturbing fact that eroded public support for Saenuri. By the next day, Saenuri had reluctantly accepted the request for investigate into the NIS election scandal.
The rollercoaster dropped once again on June 26th when the DUP exposed evidence that Won Young-se, South Korea’s ambassador to China and the former director of Saenuri’s transitional committee, had promised in 2012 to reveal the contents of the NLL transcript should his party take power. On the same day, Saenuri congressman Kim Mu-seong brought trouble upon himself by implying that he had access to the summit transcript before the election period, all of which indicated that Saenuri had been holding the transcript in reserve to deploy against the DUP whenever they wanted, rather than it being leaked separately by the NIS. The course of the summit transcript controversy twisted once again and the DUP has clearly come out on top.
DUP has begun a fierce offensive, claiming that it has been revealed that the current government was involved in organized actions affecting the election. Saenuri is on the defensive, questioning the legitimacy of the tape-recording of Ambassador Won. In this confusing tussle for all parties involved, parties are exerting their every effort to control their assembly members’ remarks and prevent them from scoring an own goal. At the same time, each party is trying to take the lead by making sensational remarks about a “treacherous president” and “no different from Yeonsangun“. It is impossible to predict the conclusion of this twisting political drama.
Comments from Nate:
Is the NIS election scandal getting buried like this? Weren’t they also involved in fabrications related to President Roh Moo-hyun’s death? Is the NIS a private enforcement service for the Blue House?
For selling out his nation to Japan, Lee Wan-yong is a traitor. Our lands, skies and seas should be protected at all costs.
Are you kidding me? A branch of the national government interferes in the election, the basis of a democracy, in order to serve the throne and release misleading information. You just regard it as a scuffle between the ruling and opposition parties? Is that the level of democratic Korea’s media? NIS isn’t independent of politics. How on earth can media have freedom to do its proper function? What a stupid article.
Foreign media amusingly reported that it was the spy agency that leaked secrets in South Korea, ke ke. Funny NIS.
Hey lefty zombies, please….wake up… He didn’t just give up the NLL. He gladly presented it to North Korea;;;
Roh Moo-hyun, are you listening in Hell?
Ah, are they going to have protests but run off as soon as the clock hits 10 PM again?? Ke ke ke ke ke ke ke. Hey, I participated in freaking candlelight protests four times. I was put in detention twice. From the third one, I was just an observer, ke ke ke ke. What can those bastards who run off at 10 PM do anyway? Ke ke ke ke.
In order to cover up President Roh’s sin of treachery, leftists on Nate trying to make a scandal out of three internet comments written by NIS employees. [the comments criticized candidates from the opposition party during the 2012 election]
This nation is going insane. Those who rightfully criticize the traitor are being denounced as conservative idiots. Folks in their 20s should be enraged at the crooked reality where those who strongly condemn colonial collaborators and North Korea-worshiping jongpuk groups are being denounced as mad men! Let me make an analogy. If there is a rapist or a murderer among the politicians, of course the police has to catch him. Would you think the police is interfering with politics then??? By the same token, if treacherous puppets of Kim Jung-il are waging an extreme campaign to abolish the National Security Law, the NIS, an organization for national security, has to hunt down those traitors. How is this interfering with politics?! Shouldn’t the NIS be charged with dereliction of duty if they sit back and don’t care?? Kim Man-bok, former NIS director during the Roh administration, had no will to catch spies and he was sentenced to imprisonment for leaking national secrets to the enemy state. [In fact, the indictment was later suspended.] Moon Jae-in, who closely served President Roh, served up some bullshit about that traitor Kim Man-bok maintaining his political neutrality well. Traitors are cosplaying as victims! You should be enraged that this nation is going crazy!!! Don’t forget that our nation has to be pro-American, anti-communist and anti-Japanese! Lee Jeong-hee, Roh Moo-hyun, Lee Seok-ki, Han Sang-ryeol and Oh Jong-ryeol are the modern Five Eulsa Traitors!! Let me also add that Chun Doo-hwan was a crazy bastard who seized power through a coup and oppressed citizens under his military regime!! That 290,000-won-worthy bastard who spent our nation’s money as his should be hacked to pieces! Kwangju 5.18 Movement was not a riot but a democratization movement!
Whoa, who are these guys defending Roh Moo-hyun’s handling of the NLL here??? Naive kids are shitting everywhere. You will be ashamed of all your shit later.
You know what? Did you know that while former President Roh was in power, he illegally asked the NIS to pry into candidate Lee Myung-bak’s supporters before the 17th presidential election? NIS illegally collected their personal information with aid from national organizations such as the National Tax Service and the police. Because of that, NIS agent Mr. Go was sentenced to one year of imprisonment and two years of probation.
Apart from the actual content of the summit transcript, I’m more shocked at the fact that the NIS released classified documents at their whim. Now what country will want to have summits with South Korea since they will think it will be leaked later.
Answer me, Roh Wan-yong [Roh Mu-hyun + Lee Wan-yong] in Hell!
All kinds of things happen during Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye’s administrations.
What plot twist? Saenuri tried to divert attention by using the summit transcript about NLL from NIS when they were cornered, just as a retaliation method! Let’s take this chance and impeach the Saenuri Assembly Members!
Foreign media is saying President Roh did not say he gave up the NLL. Ilbe bastards are going bonkers about treachery, not even reading the entire transcript. In fact, President Roh tried to bring more benefits to us. What are these bugs going on about? Go die, you bugs.
It is appropriate for the NIS protecting the nation from jongpuk to criticize the head of jongpuk. 70 DUP albas are again trying to manipulate the top comments, sitting in their office at the Shin Donghae Building.The true nature of the opposition parties!! Jongpuk groups are really scary…
Donga: President Park, “If North Korea respects Yellow Sea borders, we can discuss making them Waters of Peace.”
News Tomato: If ‘Waters of Peace’ leads to abandonment of NLL, does Park’s ‘DMZ Peace Park’ lead to abandonment of DMZ? Self-contradictory NLL controvery from Saenuri…Not distinguishing abandonment from revision.
Ma’am, what is this all about? According to Saenurilbe [Saenuri + Ilbe], Pres. Park tried to sell the nation!!! According to the bugs, you become Park Wan-yong?!!! Please explain. That’s the Saenurilbe’s speciality~ “If they do it, it’s abandonment and if I do it, it’s diplomacy.”
Ouch, it’s about time for Ilbe guys to come in droves. I’m too busy to deal with them~ ke ke.