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Ruling party official called in over missing summit transcript


SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors on Friday called in a ruling party official for questioning as part of their probe into a missing 2007 inter-Korean summit transcript that has set off an intense political tussle.

The governing Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) have been wrangling for months over whether late South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun from the opposition bloc seriously undermined the country's sovereignty during his 2007 summit with then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il by offering to surrender the western maritime border with the North.

The Saenuri official entered the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in southern Seoul around 2:00 p.m. to face questioning over a criminal charge that they have filed against former government officials believed to be responsible for the mysterious disappearance of the minutes.

"We will look into everything that can give us clues about the case," a prosecution official said, hinting that they are willing to launch a full-fledged probe.

Earlier this month, the two South Korean parties had agreed that the only way to resolve the dispute is to open the transcribed summit talks kept at the National Archives of Korea.

As efforts to find them have gone unsuccessful, the ruling party filed complaints with the prosecution office, asking that the investigative authorities find those responsible for the transcript's disappearance.

The ruling party claimed the former Roh administration destroyed the file so as to delete evidence of Roh's remarks during the summit, while the DP accused the government of Roh's successor, former President Lee Myung-bak, of tampering with it.

The most controversial part of the summit meeting was what the former liberal president allegedly said about the temporary maritime border established by the U.S.-led United Nations command at the end of the three-year Korean War in 1953. North Korea has never recognized the border, commonly called as the Northern Limit Line.

The issue was a major topic at the 2007 summit in the North's capital of Pyongyang, during which the visiting South Korean president tried to resolve the dispute by proposing that the area be made a joint fishing zone.

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