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S. Korea says significant number of leaked US docs are forged

S. Korea says significant number of leaked US docs are forged

Posted April. 12, 2023 08:09,   

Updated April. 12, 2023 08:09


The Office of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Tuesday that “the defense ministers of South Korea and the United States agreed on the fact that a significant portion of the (leaked) documents was forged” in regards to the alleged spying by U.S. Intelligence agencies on allies.

The statement was released after an emergency call between the defense ministers of the two allies, which was prompted by U.S. intelligence agencies' allegations of spying on high-level officials in South Korea. According to military sources, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reportedly stated during the call with his Korean counterpart, Defense Minister Lee Jong-seop, “A significant amount of information leaked (to the outside) was forged.” The presidential office also noted the possibility that discussions between Kim Seong-han, former director of the National Security Office, and Lee Moon-hee, former presidential secretary for foreign affairs, may have been intercepted and eavesdropped on outside the Presidential Office in Yongsan, regardless of the veracity of the content.

Chris Meagher, the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, said on the same day that the Defense Department “is continually assessing the veracity of documents, including those that circulate on social media, which contain sensitive and confidential information” and that “some of the images appear to be in a format similar to those provided daily to senior officers on Ukraine or Russia-related operations and other intelligence matters, and some appear to have been altered.” In response to a request to comment on the South Korean presidential office’s announcement on forgery, the U.S. Defense Department said it had no further comments.

Joo-Young Jeon aimhigh@donga.com