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Cheong Wa Dae Also Was Wiretapped during Kim Dae-jung Administration

Cheong Wa Dae Also Was Wiretapped during Kim Dae-jung Administration

Posted August. 09, 2005 03:07,   


It was pointed out yesterday that during the Kim Dae-jung administration, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) wiretapped the intercoms of Cheong Wa Dae, and Ko Young-koo, the former head of the NIS, may have known of the NIS’ conduction of illegal wiretapping operation during this period.

A source who was involved in the NIS’ task of gathering information on domestic politics during the Kim Dae-jung administration said, “The intercoms of Cheong Wa Dae were also included in the illegal wiretapping operation conducted by the Science and Security Department of the NIS,” adding, “In particular, the presidential chief civil secretariat, who was in charge of inspection and personnel matters, was the first target of its operation.”

The source also added, “The NIS carried out the wiretapping operation of Cheong Wa Dae under the pretext of the prevention of possible corruption made by the president’s relatives and his supporters. In fact, there were several occurrences in which former President Kim’s conversations were overheard through the wiretapping.”

The source introduced an example, “When former President Kim and former First Lady Lee Hee-ho had a talk with their son, Kim Hong-gul, who lived in the U.S. at that time, through the phone, their conversation was successfully overheard by the wiretapping operation.”

Regarding the reason why the NIS conducted wiretapping of Cheong Wa Dae, the source said, “Because it was necessary to deal with the reaction of Cheong Wa Dae more wisely after the NIS’ reporting on the negative aspects of his relatives and supporters of the president.”

This means that since the NIS’ report that is unfavorable to the president’s relatives and his supporters may be viewed as the agency’s plot intended to harm Cheong Wa Dae, the agency had to have known what was going on in Cheong Wa Dae in advance. In this respect, the wiretapping can be viewed as a sort of tool used in the power struggles among figures within Cheong Wa Dae and the NIS.

Meanwhile, a source from the NIS said, “Ko Young-koo, who served as the head of the NIS from April 2003 to June 2005, may have known that the NIS conducted illegal wiretapping operation during the Kim Dae-jung administration.”

This source also said, “The former NIS head, who was once active as a human right activist and involved in judicial affairs, must have suffered serious stress after learning this,” adding, “I believe that Ko missed the chance to reveal this.”

The reporters of Dong-A Ilbo made several attempts to call Ko at his home and office to confirm this, but Ko offered no response.

Myoung-Gun Lee Seung-Heon Lee gun43@donga.com ddr@donga.com