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GNP Presents Another Document on Wiretapping Produced by NIS

GNP Presents Another Document on Wiretapping Produced by NIS

Posted December. 01, 2002 22:51,   


The Grand National Party (GNP) presented another document including transcripts of telephone conversations between senior officials with the Office of the President Cheong Wa Dae and cabinet ministers, which were allegedly wiretapped by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) on December 1.

In a press conference, showing a 16-page document including 16 wiretapping cases, Lee Bu-young, vice chief of the election preparation committee of the GNP, said: "The document acquired by our party," which alleges that it was a production after illegal wiretapping by the NIS, "includes all kinds of attempts in detail by President Kim Dae–jung and actual powers around him to splits important posts between them and influence personnel affairs."

The transcripts in the documents contain phone conversations, from January 3 to March 26 this year, between Park Ji-won, then presidential special advisor for policy affairs and other Cheong Wa Dae officials, cabinet ministers, lawmakers of the pro-government Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and senior officials of media companies. The form of the document was the same as the one the GNP revealed on November 28.

According to the document, Park called Lee Jae-shin, a senior presidential secretary, on February 24 and said that as for the bribery scandal involving Lee Su-dong, former director of President Kim’s Asia Pacific Foundation, "President Kim showed some attachment to Lee Su-dong, saying that he should be under investigation without physical detention, because just his taking of money cannot be regarded as a bribery only based on the statement of a political broker."

In a call to a senior official of a certain media outlet, Park said, "I assumed the villain’s part in a way that President Kim expected for me. I was involved in all the appointments for ministers and vice ministers, chief presidential secretaries and important posts in the Prosecution."

In addition, the transcripts show that Park asked Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin for a personnel affair favor related to a major general; Kwon No-gap was engaged in the appointment of the chairman of an association; Park Jun-young got a reward for his influence in getting a person a job; Nam Gung-jin, then minister of culture and tourism, got a request for personnel affairs and presidential secretary Kim Hyun-sup and Son Young-rae, chief of the National Tax Service, discussed the issue of President Kim’s son, Kim Hong-gul.

In response, Cha Jeong-il, former independent prosecutor, said that though he had talked over the phone with Lee Jae-shin about the investigation of Lee Su-dong on several occasions, he never mentioned the indictment of Lee without arrest. And other government officials and MDP lawmakers whose names were mentioned in the document denied such calls.

Meanwhile, secretary general of the GNP Kim Youong-il said, "The whistleblower is an official currently working for the NIS, so for personal protection purposes we couldn’t reveal his or her name. The transcripts were not damaged at all and we would decide on the next step after watching the response of the MDP."

In a press release, December 1, the GNP added that the nation’s top intelligence agency developed a device for wiretapping cell phones called CASS on its own, which consists of two parts, each the size of a traveler’s trunk.

On the other hand, on the same day, the NIS said that the document released by the GNP was not produced by it and it did not develop and operate any wiretapping device for cellular phones at all.

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com