In a story submitted to the Monthly Chosun magazine, investigative journalist and conservative idealogue Cho Gap-je claims that during his 2007 summit with late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, late President Roh Moo-hyun basically told Kim he had worked to reduce pro-American opinion in South Korea and lessen American influence.
Basing his claims on testimony from multiple officials who’d seen the summit transcript, Cho says Roh told Kim “we” (i.e., South Korea, or at least his government) were “working hard, too.” He told Kim USFK was to leave the capital region and Seoul was to regain wartime operational command. Even better, he told Kim that recent opinion polls showed South Koreans considered the United States the biggest threat to South Korean security, followed by Japan and then North Korea, and that this was “something you couldn’t even imagine a decade ago” and “the result of persistently promoting independent diplomacy and inter-Korean cooperation.”
Roh also allegedly suggested then-US President George W Bush, Kim and him declare an end of the Korean War and hold talks to sign a peace treaty. Kim apparently showed interest in this.
According to Cho, Roh also bragged to Kim about torpedoing OPLAN 5029, which he called an American plan to make war. Roh and his NSC did in fact halt talks to complete OPLAN 5029, which was finally completed in 2008 under Roh’s successor after Kim’s stroke.
Roh also told Kim he thought US measures regarding BDA, taken to stop North Korean money laundering, was a mistake.
Oh, there’s more. Much more, in fact, including (drum roll):
- That Roh adopted a subservient posture before Kim from beginning to end;
- That Roh proposed a joint fishing zone in the West Sea premised on Seoul giving up the NLL as a territorial line;
- That Roh did not demand the North abandon its nuclear program;
- That Roh did not ask for the return of South Korean POWs and abductees;
- That Kim, startled by Roh’s sizable offers of aid, worried that the South Korean government would soon change, to which Roh said that’s why he needed to conclude things now.
- That people who’d read the transcript said Roh had harmed South Korean dignity, and that at least somebody said it made him so angry he couldn’t finish it.
Now, of course, Cho—or his sources—could just be making stuff up. Nobody else seems to be touching this besides the Chosun, and it is a convenient time politically to come out with all this stuff.
Still, I can see Roh saying pretty much everything Cho has attributed to him. My instinct is telling me at least some of this is true.
I know TK will probably have some unkind things to say about this, although for the post, he has only himself to blame since he’s the one who sent me the link. So here’s your HT, TK.