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Presidential office: It will not request apology for US wiretapping allegation

Presidential office: It will not request apology for US wiretapping allegation

Posted April. 13, 2023 08:03,   

Updated April. 13, 2023 08:03


It was reported on Wednesday that the South Korean presidential office would not raise a diplomatic issue regarding the allegation about a U.S. intelligence agency’s wiretapping. It was concluded that the issue was close to being resolved as a third player was behind it and a large portion of the leaked documents were fabricated.

“It seems like the issue has been worked out as the presidential office was on the same page with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Tuesday regarding the leaked documents,” said a member of the presidential office. “We will not ask for an official apology from the U.S. government.”

“A third party was involved in large part of the issue and there is no evidence that the U.S., our ally, did this with a malicious intention,” the first deputy chief of the National Security Office Kim Tae-hyo said to reporters during his visit to the U.S. on Tuesday (local time). His comment seemed to refer to the possibility that pro-Russian players might have been involved in leaking confidential documents.

To a question asking if he meant the conversation recorded in the confidential documents regarding former chief of the National Security Office Kim Seong-han was fabricated, he declined to answer specifically. “I already answered the question yesterday, and it answers everything,” he said. On Monday, Kim said that there is nothing to communicate with the U.S. regarding South Korea’s position as the documents were fabricated by somebody.

However, the New York Times reported on Tuesday that most documents are original and some fabricated ones were initially posted on the Internet without modification. A member of the presidential office repeated the previous stance that they should wait for the results of the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation and establish the facts. “The area of diplomacy leaves room for interpretation. Facts are being shaken,” he said to a question if the documents related to South Korea were fabricated without giving a specific answer.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol made an order to strengthen the response posture to ensure that cyber threats on infrastructure, including finance and energy, do not lead to a security crisis. Chief of the National Security Office Cho Tae-yong presided over a meeting to assess the response posture of institutions to cyber attacks on energy at the presidential office in Yongsan-gu, Seoul.

Joo-Young Jeon aimhigh@donga.com