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Push for Inter-Korean Summit Talks Revealed

Posted March. 31, 2007 07:03,   


Gwon O-hong, who planned the secret contact between Ahn Hee-jeong (42), a close aid of President Roh Moo-hyun, and Lee Ho Nam (54), a secretary of North Korea`s National Economic Cooperation Federation in Beijing, China, said on March 30, “The goal of the secret contact was a summit talk."

Regarding the actual power behind Secretary Lee, Gwon said, “I can`t reveal the real name, but he is a Workers’ Party high-ranking figure in his sixties who is able to make direct reports to Chairman Kim Jong Il of the North Korean National Defense Commission.”

"The meeting took place to try and set up a summit talk, code named a “Captain Play,” through a visit to North Korea by a special envoy, and Ahn contacted the North Korean official." said Gwon at an interview with this newspaper. “Ahn`s moves were directed by President Roh."

Gwon is from the Special Projects Division of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and has promoted economic cooperation projects between North Korea and China mainly from Beijing for the last 20 years.

"President Roh has been receiving detailed reports from Lee Ho-cheol, the presidential secretary for information and state affairs monitoring, since last October," Gwon added. "As far as I know, Ahn even reported on the `fixation conference` (for the promotion of a visit to North Korea by a special envoy and of a summit) directly to President Roh on October 26."

"Reports were also passed on to the president on the process of setting up a `fixation conference, special envoy and summit,’ and on the `100 major processes of economic cooperation` through Ahn, and as far as I know the president read it himself," he added.

"Representative Lee Hwa-yeong of the Uri Party, when he visited North Korea on December 16 last year, passed on President Roh`s message asking the North to `receive a special envoy in late December 2006 or early January 2007 and hold a summit talk within a month.’ It was what the Uri lawmaker had noted in his pocket diary after a meeting with President Roh in a strong tone," he said.

At a press conference held at the Cecil Restaurant in Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, before this interview, Gwon said, “Secretary Lee Ho-cheol called me on February 22 and told me that a report was made saying contact with the North through an official channel was more preferable and that the government had treated the matter as such in late December last year."

"Even while I was promoting the tasks, related officials continued to hear reports from the National Intelligence Service. The National Intelligence Service was aware of Ahn`s contact with the North and seemed to be keeping abreast of the situation through the secretary office for information and state affairs monitoring," he explained.

Concerning the memorandum he revealed through Weekly Dong-A, Gwon said, "That was one fourth of the whole memo; the rest will be published as a book."