The Office of the President Begins to Confirm Allegations of Wiretapping in the United States… “The NSC Conversation Wasn’t Leaked”

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尹 ‘Careful’ about unexpected bad news 2 weeks before the visit to the US
“Finding the facts comes first.”

On the 10th, the Office of the President responded to the allegation that the US intelligence agency had intercepted the statements of senior officials of the National Security Office, saying, “Finding out the facts is a priority.” revealed However, he also said, “There is a possibility that some of the (intercepted) data may have been modified or manipulated.” It is interpreted as an intention to minimize the impact on the ROK-US alliance of the unexpected bad news that emerged two weeks before President Yoon Seok-yeol’s state visit to the United States. Even so, the presidential office is strengthening internal security checks and contemplating countermeasures. It is known that the suspicion of US wiretapping was also discussed at the meeting of senior secretaries presided over by President Yoon that day.

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An official from the presidential office met with reporters that day and emphasized, “(Fact-checking and requesting appropriate measures) this process will be carried out based on the trust relationship formed between the ROK-US alliance. At the same time, he said, “The information reported in the US media is not a confirmed fact.” A high-ranking official in the presidential office said, “If it is true that there was a thief and that the thief came and went, it is impossible to say ‘a thief came’ first in a situation where it is not confirmed what was stolen.” There is no reason to say that it was stolen, even in the national interest.”

Independent measures to strengthen security at the National Security Office and the Presidential Security Service are also being reviewed. A high-ranking official in the presidential office said on the 10th, “Even in normal times, the presidential secretary’s office is extremely careful about security issues.”

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In the midst of this, Kim Tae-hyo, first deputy director of the National Security Office, will visit the United States from the 11th to the 15th to make last-minute adjustments on the schedule for President Yoon’s state visit to the United States at the end of this month. It is known that Korea and the U.S. will discuss the wiretapping suspicion during Deputy Director Kim’s visit to the United States. On the 10th, working-level officials, such as the North American Bureau deputy director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also departed for Washington, the United States.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense said in a statement on the 9th (local time) that the leaked document “appears to contain extremely sensitive security data” and that “the document was photographed and (circulated) is being reviewed for validity.” Reuters reported on this day.

[美 감청 기밀문건 유출]

“Possibility of intervention by specific forces” security check… “An aspect that is difficult to consider as an issue of information activities”

野 “Security disaster before the presidential office hastily”

Presidential Office “Yongsan is more secure than Blue”

U.S. wiretapping confidential documents leaked

“It has not yet been made transparent whether the process of creating the document was as reported by the foreign media or what happened to the process of leaking the document.”

A high-ranking official in the presidential office said on the 10th regarding the suspicion of wiretapping by US intelligence authorities on South Korea and other allies recently raised by the US media, “I doubt the intention of this controversy to arise at a time when South Korea and the US are raising the level of their alliance to the highest level.” . Regarding the allegation that the U.S. had intercepted the conversations of high-ranking officials in the presidential office, which is the control tower for foreign affairs and security, it made it clear that the priority was to find out the facts.

However, there is an atmosphere that raises the level of security and vigilance against wiretapping of wireless communications. On the day before the first deputy director of the National Security Office Kim Tae-hyo’s visit to the United States, President Yoon Seok-yeol and the National Security Office’s meeting, which reviewed the agenda for the visit, and the chief presidential secretary’s meeting were lengthened one after another, and the weekly meeting with Prime Minister Han Deok-soo was reportedly delayed. There was an observation that the government level security strengthening was also discussed.

● Presidential Office “The conversation was not leaked in the NSC situation”

The President’s office emphasized that the suspicions reported in the US media were not ‘confirmed facts’ and said, “After we have finished grasping the situation in both countries, we plan to demand reasonable measures from the US side if necessary.” Depending on whether the facts are confirmed, the possibility of taking measures such as conveying concerns and protests to the US is also left open.

However, it is known that the presidential office tentatively judged that the contents of the conversation were not leaked in the context of the National Security Council (NSC). It is believed that it is unlikely that the contents of the conversation could have been leaked due to wiretapping in a way that captures the vibrations of the air generated by conversations transmitted to windows or walls.

An official from the presidential office said, “We cannot rule out the possibility that the intentions of certain forces were involved (in the leak of data).” While the Russian government or pro-Russian organizations are being pointed out as being behind the leak, they will not get caught up in the intention to alienate allies. The presidential office is referring to the Korean government’s response to the 2013 disclosure of former US intelligence agent Edward Snowden. At the time, the government requested confirmation of the facts regarding the alleged wiretapping of the Korean embassy in the United States by the US National Security Agency (NSA), and the US side conveyed to the South Korean government its policy of reviewing intelligence activities. As additional revelations came out later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time said, “We expressed deep concern to the US government about this document and asked for a convincing explanation and action quickly.” Kim Tae-ho, chairman of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee, a member of the People’s Power, said, “If it turns out to be true, we must strongly demand an explanation from the US side and prevent a recurrence.”

However, as the information collection activities of intelligence agencies have been treated as an ‘open secret’ in countries around the world, the atmosphere of struggling so that this issue does not emerge as a key ‘risk’ ahead of the Korea-US summit is also sensed. A government source said, “From the perspective of information activities, the biggest problem with this case is that it has been publicized.”

● “A hasty relocation security disaster” vs “Yongsan, safer than Cheong”

Lee Jae-myung, the representative of the Democratic Party of Korea, said at the Supreme Council meeting that day, “It is absurd to say that the presidential office of one country is breached by wiretapping, but it is difficult to understand that the presidential office of an ally country is wiretapping.” The Democratic Party also pointed out that it was “a predicted security disaster as a result of hastily relocating after abandoning the most secure Blue House bunker.” Rep. Kim Byeong-ju, a former military general, even insisted on reconsidering holding the Korea-US summit.

In response, an official from the presidential office countered, saying, “The government building security issues have been perfectly prepared, and inspections are underway, so there is no problem.” The official also said, “At the time of the Korea-US summit, if there is a force trying to shake the alliance by exaggerating or distorting the incident, it will be resisted by many people.” A high-ranking passport official said, “The Presidential Office building is where the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Ministry of National Defense were located during the Moon Jae-in administration.” The Democratic Party’s claim is an act of self-harm against the national interest.”

Washington =

Source: Donga

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