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“Ms. Kim Called Kim Hong-il Brother in Phone Conversation”

“Ms. Kim Called Kim Hong-il Brother in Phone Conversation”

Posted August. 17, 2007 03:02,   


In early June of 2000, some ten days before the historical South-North summit, the then deputy manager of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), Kim Eun-seong, received an unbelievable wiretapping transcript. Judging the material was very confidential; Kim directly reported the material to the then NIS director Lim Dong-won, saying “We (science security bureau) received a very important text.”

The content of the transcript was that a Ms. Kim (37), the unknown daughter of former president Kim Dae-jung, notified a pastor of her mother’s death. The pastor said he would hold Mass. He told her to send her mother’s body to hospital.

The Director repeatedly asked deputy manager Kim to keep the material confidential; to which Kim replied, “Don’t worry. I will.”

Records of NIS’s illegal 2005 wiretapping obtained on August 16 by the Prosecutors vividly describes this in detail.

Back then, President Kim Dae-jung was regarded as a strong candidate for the Nobel Peace Price.

The NIS was worried that if the existence of the president’s illegitimate daughter was made public, the possibility of the president winning the Prize could be undermined.

The existence of Ms. Kim was so sensitive in nature that the nation’s top intelligence bureau wiretapped and the overheard conversation was directly reported to the NIS director. But whether or not she is a real daughter of the president has not yet been officially confirmed.

The president’s privacy-

According to the prosecution’s investigation, eavesdropping on Ms. Kim had been going on for a year. When the deputy manager assumed his current position, he came to know about the wiretapping.

The deputy manager said, “The wiretapping infringed the privacy of the then president; so we were extremely careful. Other than my work at office, the wiretapping was definitely my priority. We thought that the existence of the president’s secret daughter could prevent the president from receiving the Nobel Prize.”

The deputy manager also said, “The former NIS director Lim was well aware of the implication of any leakage of the information.”

Appearing as a witness in a court hearing of NIS directors Lim Dong-won and Shin Geon, who were arrested for as a result of the illegal wiretapping, Deputy Kim acknowledged the fact that the NIS overheard Ms. Kim’s conversation.

Kim testified, “We bugged Ms. Kim and her mother, and others close to them. And the transcripts were sent to Director Lim.”

The deputy manager’s statement to the prosecutors and testimony to the court served as a very important basis of the prosecutors’ argument that Lim was aware of the wiretapping.

Ms. Kim calls Kim Hong-il (President Kim Dae-jung’s son) brother-

What is the relationship between the former president and Ms. Kim? The existence of Ms. Kim was known to the world when an SBS current affairs program dug deep into the case.

Back then, the former president neither denied nor confirmed the relationship. In March of last year, Ms. Kim said, “I don’t think I am the daughter of Kim Dae-jung.”

However, the investigation showed that Ms. Kim called Kim Hong-il “brother” when they talked on the phone, arms dealer Cho Pung-eon gave financial support to Ms. Kim, and after Cho went to the U.S., Kim Eun-seong’s predecessor, the late Eom Ik-jun, an NIS official, monitored Ms. Kim.

The investigation does not identify Ms. Kim because the focus of the investigation was whether or not Lim knew about the wiretapping.

One thing deputy manager Kim remembers is that Ms. Kim complained about something while she was talking to someone on the phone. The investigation showed that Ms. Kim identified herself as the president’s daughter in a neighborhood’s meeting, and her mother was mentally unstable.

A member of the investigation team said “Ms. Kim and her mother angrily talked with each other on the phone. Because her mother sounded unstable we carefully monitored her. Ms. Kim’s mother killed herself and we were careful in preventing her suicide from being leaked to the public, which can lead to all sorts of speculations.”

Kim Dae-jung’s aide stressed, “In her interview, Ms. Kim made it very clear that she is not the president’s daughter. I wonder why people think she is his daughter. She has nothing to do with the president.”

A source from the legal circle, who knows the inner workings of the NIS, said, “I know a thing or two about the NIS and the spy agency would not eavesdrop on someone for nothing and then report what it heard to its head.”

will71@donga.com wing@donga.com