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(LEAD) Late President Roh allegedly agreed to nullify NLL: lawmaker
SEOUL, Oct. 8 (Yonhap) -- Late President Roh Moo-hyun allegedly agreed with North Korea during his landmark inter-Korean summit in 2007 to nullify the U.S.-drawn de facto western sea border, a lawmaker claimed Monday.

   "During the Oct. 3 South-North Korean summit in 2007, the late former President Roh Moo-hyun held one-on-one talks with late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il," Saenuri Party lawmaker Chung Moon-hun said in a parliamentary audit of the Unification Ministry.

   "Minutes of the undisclosed dialogue show Roh telling Kim Jong-il that the NLL is a headache. It was unilaterally drawn by the U.S. trying to win more territory," Chung said.

   The Northern Limit Line, or NLL, is deemed the de facto western sea border between the two Koreas and has been strongly protested by the North, which suspects the U.S. unilaterally drew the demarcation line for military purposes.

   The North often triggers maritime provocations near the border line, protesting the legitimacy of it.

   Chung alleged that Roh verbally promised to Kim that the South would no longer respect the controversial sea border, indicating that by doing so the issue may automatically be resolved.

   The alleged secret dialogue between the two Korean leaders was recorded and the North's United Front Department, dealing with inter-Korean issues, shared the recording with South Korea's conservatives, the lawmaker also said.

   The Roh Moo-hyun Foundation, an organization representing the late president's family, however, denied the claims, refuting in a statement that there was no such one-on-one meeting in the first place between the then leaders of the two Koreas.

   The foundation added that it was also "groundless" to claim that Roh promised that the South would no longer respect the maritime border.

   Seoul's Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik, meanwhile, reasserted the South Korean government's firm stance that the NLL is the legitimate sea border.

   "The NLL is the South-North maritime border line effective since the armistice (following the 1950-53 Korean War) and upholding it is the government's official position," the minister said in response to the lawmaker's allegations. "Without a new agreement between the South and the North, the NLL will continue to serve as the de facto sea boundary line."

   pbr@yna.co.kr
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