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What’s Going On In the Security Control Tower?

Posted May. 17, 2005 22:38,   


It was reported on May 17 that Cheong Wa Dae held two hearing investigations into Lee Jong-seok, deputy chief of the National Security Council (NSC), earlier last month. The investigations were reportedly conducted regarding the pointing out within the government that there are some problems with the diplomacy-security team’s negotiations with the U.S. regarding the “strategic flexibility” of U.S. Forces in Korea.

Kim Man-soo, a spokesman for the Cheong Wa Dae, said in a briefing that day, “The presidential national affairs office submitted a report which pointed out a problem with the government negotiation team’s negotiation process over the ‘strategic flexibility’ issue. Following President Roh Moo-hyun’s instructions, unification minister and NSC standing committee chairman Chung Dong-young, presided over two meetings to confirm the report.”

Those who attended the meetings presided over by Chung on April 6 and April 15 were Moon Jae-in, senior presidential secretary for civic and social affairs, and Cheon Ho-seon, chief of the presidential national affairs office. The meetings were conducted in the form of hearings in which Lee answered questions.

The problem that the presidential national affairs office pointed out was inadequate negotiations in which government negotiators reversed their stance after having reached a consensus with their U.S. counterparts to accept strategic flexibility.

Kim explained, “It turned out that government negotiators in the diplomacy-security team did not agree on the strategic flexibility issue, and that the negotiations are currently going on. It was concluded that there were no problems in the negotiation process.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com