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Lawmakers to view 2.56 mln items of 2007 inter-Korean summit records

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, July 5 (Yonhap) -- Lawmakers in mid-July will be able to view about 2.56 million items of presidential records under a parliamentary motion aimed at verifying late former President Roh Moo-hyun's remarks on the western sea border with North Korea during the 2007 inter-Korean summit, officials of the ruling camp and the national archive said Friday.

Earlier this week, the National Assembly approved the motion calling for access to summit transcripts kept at the National Archives of Korea. The approval comes amid conflicting claims over Roh's remarks regarding the Yellow Sea border during the meeting with then North Korean leader, the late Kim Jong-il.

The ruling Saenuri Party has claimed that Roh made remarks to the effect of offering to nullify the maritime border, known as the Northern Limit Line or NLL, while the main opposition Democratic Party claimed that Roh's remarks were aimed only at bringing peace to the tense area around the boundary.

Late last month, the National Intelligence Service made public its version of summit records, but the document failed to put conflicting claims to rest. The rival parties then agreed to view the full transcript stored at the state archives and passed the motion. Access to such records is possible with two-thirds support from parliament.

On Friday, a ruling camp official told Yonhap News Agency that the National Archives of Korea (NAK) reported to parliament that about 2.56 million items of records can be seen under the motion, and the records can be handed over to the National Assembly sometime next week.

It remains unclear when exactly parliament will have access to the records, but an official of the NAK said it is expected to submit them to the Assembly around July 15.

"We need some 10 days for preparations as limited personnel here are allowed to deal with the materials," the official told Yonhap.

"Of the total 2.56 million items, we plan to sort out related records and make their copies, which would take quite a long time," he added.

Of the massive records, 340,000 items are classified as top-secret and can be accessed only with two-thirds parliamentary approval, 10,000 items are designated as ordinary secrets and the rest of the 2.21 million items are ordinary records, the official said.

The records were made from Aug. 8, 2007 -- when the two Koreas decided to hold their second-ever summit -- to Feb. 24, 2008, Roh's last day in office, the official said. That means the records can provide clues on how the government made preparations for the summit and what follow-up measures it took after the meeting.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130705/lawmakers-view-256-mln-items-2007-inter-korean-summit-reco-1