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Parliament agrees to disclose 2007 summit transcript

Posted July. 03, 2013 07:05,   


Minutes and taped voice records of the second inter-Korea summit in 2007, stored at the National Archives of Korea, will be released and perused at the request of the National Assembly.

At its plenary meeting on Tuesday, the National Assembly approved a bill to demand the submission of materials on the inter-Korean summit, which were designated as presidential records and are archived at the National Archives of Korea, , the final day of June’s extraordinary session of the assembly. Contrary to earlier prediction that majority will vote against the bill, the floor leaderships of both the ruling and opposition parties proactively urged their members to follow party platforms in voting, resulting in the bill’s approval in a vote of 257 among the 276 lawmakers in attendance endorsing it.

The quorum required for demanding release of presidential records (to the National Assembly) is two thirds of the 300 parliamentary seats in support of the bill. The ruling Saenuri Party and main opposition Democratic Party agreed on the perusal of the records Tuesday morning, and they adopted perusal as their obligatory party platform at their general meetings of lawmakers before participating in the vote.

The head of the National Archives of Korea should respond to the request for release and perusal within 10 days after the National Assembly Speaker makes the request. The materials requested include all materials related to the summit, including minutes of the meeting between former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, taped voice records of the meeting, and auxiliary materials including minutes on Seoul’s preparatory meetings for the summit and post-summit meetings, reports, and electronic documents. The release and perusal will be made by way of submission of the materials for their reproduction to parliament.

Both the ruling and opposition parties, however, are agonizing over whether to make public the results of their perusal or not, since publicizing the materials will constitute violation of the Presidential Record Act. The rival parties have decided to discuss this issue later at a meeting of the parliamentary steering committee.