In an exclusive interview with Dong-A Ilbo today, Lim said, While awaiting assignment in April 1998, Gong asked me if I knew anyone among Samsungs executive staff. I replied that I didnt, and was introduced to Park a few months later through an acquaintance with whom I served in the military.
Gong met Park through Lims introduction, and Park then leaked the audiotapes taken from the National Security Planning Agency (NSPA) to MBC.
In a written confession released on July 26, Gong claimed, I was introduced to Park by Lim. Park proposed that we make brief use of just a few tapes involving Samsung, since there was something for which he needed to secure Samsungs cooperation, and I handed over the (wiretapped) materials.
Lim explained that he had called Gong to tell him that his friend was well acquainted with a Samsung executive, and that the three of them had met at a coffee shop in Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul in late 1998 at Gongs request.
Lims statement completely contradicts Gongs. Lim, who was removed from office along with Gong in 1998, filed a lawsuit to revoke his dismissal and won, but he has since left the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to operate a private business.
At the time, Gong told me to stand aside for a while, so I remained at a distance, said Lim, adding, I have no idea what Gong and Park talked about.
He further claimed that about six months later, after hearing that a problem had arisen between Park and Samsung, he had arranged another meeting between Park and Gong at the latters urgent request. He had stood apart on this occasion also, he said, adding that the two seemed to have a slight altercation, but was laughing again by the time they came out of the coffee shop in which they had met.
Lim stated that in late March or early April of this year, his wife had told him about a visit to his home by someone claiming to be Parks son. According to her account, the person said that his father was critically ill, and when she told him she was not familiar with any such person and tried to shut the door, he threatened, How can you turn me away like this? Youll regret it later.
When I told Gong that Parks son had been to my house, said Lim, he became enraged and yelled, What do you expect me to do about it? The person who had claimed to be Parks son was later confirmed by Lims wife to be MBC reporter Lee Sang-ho when she saw him appear on television.
Lim also stated to Dong-A Ilbo that members of the NIS had come to him a week or two ago to ascertain whether he had any Samsung-related tapes in his possession.
Lim claimed that he had tried to confirm Gongs statement, in which the latter attributed the possession of these tapes to Lim, but that Gong had refused to answer his calls.
I felt betrayed and thought, So this is how I lose a friend, but a few days later, Gong called to apologize and came clean about having lied to the NIS, he said.
Lim stated, I kept up a friendship with Gong because we shared the same hometown and had worked in the same bureau, adding, He told me that he had set up a branch office contracted by A news agency and invited me to visit, so I saw him even after my dismissal from office.