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Pro-Roh lawmaker stakes political life on truth of NLL remarks

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, June 30 (Yonhap) -- Moon Jae-in, an opposition party lawmaker and former chief secretary to late President Roh Moo-hyun, vowed Sunday to leave politics if Roh's controversial remark on the inter-Korean sea border during the 2007 inter-Korean summit is proven to be true.

"The confusion and the division in the public opinion should be ended through disclosing the records (kept) in the National Archives of Korea," Rep. Moon Jae-in of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) said in a statement. "If (the claim over) the remark to give up NLL is true, I will apologize and resign from politics."

Moon's statement came after the ruling Saenuri Party and the DP locked horns early last week as the spy agency National Intelligence Service disclosed the transcript of the summit meeting between Roh and late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2007.

Ruling party lawmakers first claimed that Roh, in the summit, offered to give up the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de facto western sea border with the North. At that time of the claim, Moon, one of Roh's close confidants, was running in the presidential race against Park Geun-hye, the ruling party candidate later elected to be the president.

The disclosed record showed that Roh said the NLL should be changed into a "peace and cooperation zone," but it is still under debate whether the late President made the remark with the intention of "giving up" the controversial sea border.

Moon said the national archive agency is keeping the documents recording the presidential office's preparations and outcome of the summit, and a look into them will show Roh tried to set up the mutual fishery zone over the NLL without undermining it.

The lawmaker also called on the ruling party to withdraw accusations over the NLL abandonment and abide by inter-Korean cooperation promises made during the 2007 summit.

North Korea has never recognized the maritime boundary, which was drawn unilaterally by the U.S.-led United Nations Command when the 1950-53 Korean War ended. Pyongyang has long demanded that the line be drawn farther south.

The ruling party, meanwhile, spurned the opposition party's call to open a parliamentary inspection over the spy agency's disclosure of the classified document.

"We have no plans (to pass a bill to open an investigation,") ruling party floor leader Choi Kyoung-hwan said over the phone, adding the parliament is already conducting two other probes over the spy agency's presidential election irregularities and the national medical services.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130630/pro-roh-lawmaker-stakes-political-life-truth-nll-remarks