ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on June 26th, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Released Transcripts Show Former President Roh Did Offer To Give Up the NLL

The big scandal going on in Korea right now is the release of transcripts from the 2007 summit between former Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong-il.  The documents were released by the NIS and both the contents of the documents and the way they were released is drawing criticism:

Transcripts of a meeting in 2007 between president Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il throw new light on just how far Roh was willing to go in adjusting the de facto inter-Korean maritime border in the West Sea.

The Northern Limit Line drawn up unilaterally by the U.S.-led powers after the Korean War “is weirdly shaped and has turned into some sort of monster that can’t be touched,” Roh says in the transcript. “I agree with [Kim Jong-il]. The NLL should be changed.”

The line, instead of running straight, bends sharply northward to incorporate several islands off the North Korean coast into South Korean territory. It has long been a key point of contention with North Korea, which refuses to accept and regularly violates it, while conservatives here see its integrity as a point of honor.

Roh at the time announced plans to turn the area into a “peace zone” for joint commercial activities. But he kept quiet plans to change the way it runs, which were only revealed when North Korea last year leaked what it said was its own transcripts of the 2007 meeting.

The latest transcripts were presented to lawmakers by the National Intelligence Service and obtained by the Chosun IIlbo.

That has created a double scandal, with conservatives accusing Roh of treason and opposition parties charging the NIS with meddling in politics.

During the summit, Roh was also startlingly candid about South Korea’s relationship with the U.S. “We have depended on the U.S.,” he says in the transcript. “It is a fact that we are a pro-American nation. Until President Kim Dae-jung came into office, [Seoul] did not even have the will to pursue autonomy.”  [Chosun Ilbo]

You can read more at the link as well over at the Marmot’s Hole who has his own take on this issue.  My take on this is that why is anyone surprised by this?  Everything I have read that has been released seems par for the course in regards to Roh Moo-hyun.  I actually accused Roh Moo-hyun of offering to surrender the NLL after the summit nearly six years ago. It is probably also useful to point out that the Roh administration were the same people who claimed there was no evidence of human rights violations in North Korea.  Any administration willing to make that claim is likely willing to make huge concessions to the North Koreans as well.

Also of interest in the article is that Kim Jong-il backed out on his promise to Kim Dae-jung in 2000 to visit South Korea.  It just shows how naive Roh was that he actually thought Kim Jong-il would ever visit South Korea.  The only way Kim Jong-il would step foot in South Korea is if the nation was conquered which was apparently the direction that Roh wanted to take the country towards and he was to naive to even realize it.

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