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Seoul hastily disregards leaked intelligence documents as mostly fake

Seoul hastily disregards leaked intelligence documents as mostly fake

Posted April. 13, 2023 08:04,   

Updated April. 13, 2023 08:04


Kim Tae-hyo, the first deputy director of the National Security Office, made remarks on the alleged U.S. eavesdropping on South Korea on his visit to the United States to discuss agenda items for the forthcoming summit talk between the two countries. He argued that there is no circumstantial evidence that Washington had any bad intentions for its ally. Before leaving for the United States, he said that the two countries agreed that most of the leaked documents were intentionally fabricated. Regarding this, Kim added that Washington confirmed its findings. However, he made a somewhat sensitive response when asked a series of questions about the allegations. Asking reporters not to request further details, he even said that he might not answer specific questions but just leave. It has also been reported that the South Korean presidential office will not raise an issue diplomatically but move on.

The presidential office’s hasty and unprofessional attitude toward the alleged leak of U.S. confidential documents only fuels controversy and suspicion. Even the White House admitted the scandal, commenting that there is no excuse to make while U.S. news media report that most of the leaked documents, albeit possibly edited or fabricated, are authentic materials. Nevertheless, without any convincing explanation, Seoul maintains that most of the revealed information is fake, even showing a high-handed attitude and telling reporters not to ask further.

Additionally, it makes little sense that Seoul tries nimbly to sweep the controversy under the rug, saying that it will wait for Washington to finish investigating the issue as if nothing had ever happened. Competition for intelligence matters more than anything else in the realities of international politics. It still holds true for allies. Given this, Seoul and Washington have no reason to bring about conflict explicitly. Nevertheless, as a sovereign nation, we have the right to demand that the other side explain the allegations that have raised suspicion about their alliance. After all, due to such controversy, the ROK-U.S. alliance is not weak enough to break down.

The two allies, which date back 70 years ago, do not always share the same viewpoints on every single matter. In particular, sensitive fields such as diplomatic and foreign affairs naturally make it hard for them to reveal details as other relevant countries watch them closely. Having said that just because we put the alliance first and foremost doesn’t mean it is okay to keep all the focal issues unattended. The South Korean government should brief citizens on the issue to a possible degree. Otherwise, it needs to ask for their understanding at least. Without such moves, it will only leave its citizens disappointed in the two countries’ dynamics, where Seoul only relies on Washington in an unequal relationship.