Go to contents

Prosecution Fully Analyzes Wiretapping Tapes

Posted December. 07, 2005 08:32,   


It was revealed on December 6 that the public prosecutors investigating the wiretapping scandal has taken stock of all 274 tapes recorded by the wiretapping team of National Security Planning (NSP), the predecessor of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), and that the tapes hold recordings of about 150 high-profile figures in politics, government, media, as well as the business circles.

The wiretapping investigation team of the Seoul Central District Public Prosecutor`s Office, currently conducting a probe into the eavesdropping cases by the NSP and the NIS, has identified the contents of the tapes based on both the testimony of Kong Un-yong, the leader of the wiretapping team now under arrest, and the analysis of the recorded conversations.

The prosecution has listened to all 274 tapes and made transcripts of the conversations.

About 150 people were tapped, and the number of high-ranking politicians, such as chairpersons of the ruling and opposition parties, was revealed to be the largest. The list also includes: about 10 high-level figures in the media industry, including the owner of a major daily newspaper and the president of a broadcasting corporation; 10 or so heads of conglomerates like Samsung, Hyundai, LG, and Daewoo, as well as other business leaders; and several governmental officials in the economic and audit ministries.

Kong testified, “The number of people taped is smaller than 274, the number of recorded tapes, probably because key figures designated as targets of eavesdropping were tapped repeatedly over several years.”

Some of the major issues wiretapped are said to be: the financial crisis and the collapse of Kia Motors in 1997; the 1995 history-correction campaign by the Kim Young-sam administration which sent former Presidents Chun Du-hwan and Roh Tae-woo to prison; and the launching of an automobile business by the Samsung Group and the North Korean nuclear crisis in 1994.

Most cases eavesdropped were related to major national policies and political issues such as the presidential elections, with few private conversations of prominent figures.

As the taped recordings are highly sensitive and significant, the prosecution has been analyzing the tapes under maximum security since confiscating them from Kong’s house on July 22.

However, it does not plan to investigate into the contents of the tapping recordings.

Tae-Hoon Lee Jin-Kyun Kil jefflee@donga.com leon@donga.com