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(LEAD) Lawmaker cleared of charges in 2007 inter-Korean summit transcripts scandal
SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors said Thursday that they will not charge a ruling party lawmaker for claiming that late President Roh Moo-hyun made remarks undermining the legitimacy of the western sea border during the 2007 inter-Korean summit meeting.

   Wrapping up the investigation into claims and counter claims raised by political parties, prosecutors said the remarks by Rep. Chung Moon-hun cannot be viewed as false information.

   Prosecutors, however, did not clarify whether the former liberal president actually had made such remarks.

   The legal dispute first began when Chung of the Saenuri Party claimed in October of last year that Roh had told late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il during the meeting in Pyongyang six years ago that Seoul would not insist on the Yellow Sea border, called the Northern Limit Line (NLL), which Pyongyang refuses to recognize as a legitimate maritime border.

   Rep. Chung claimed to have read the National Intelligence Service's (NIS) classified documents on the conversation between the two deceased leaders.

   The main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP) refuted the claims and lodged accusations against Rep. Chung and others for spreading false information.

   In response, Rep. Chung raised his own libel claims against then-DUP Chairman Lee Hae-chan.

   After looking into the contents of the transcripts and summoning the lawmakers for questioning, prosecutors said they will not charge any person concerned, including Rep. Chung.

   Prosecutors also said they cannot reveal the contents of the classified NIS transcripts as they must be sealed and protected.

   Lee Hae-chan has been cleared of libel charges as well, they added.

   Prosecutors said they will not charge Rep. Lee Cheol-woo of the Saenuri Party or Park Sun-kyoo, the spokesman for President-elect Park Geun-hye, for saying that Roh's remarks are true.

   Presidential security secretary Chun Yung-woo, who said in late October that he too saw the transcripts, has been cleared as well, prosecutors said, as he was confirmed to have actually seen them under government authorization.

   North Korea has never recognized the NLL, which was unilaterally drawn by the U.S.-led United Nations Command at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The North demands that the line be redrawn farther south.

   A number of bloody inter-Korean clashes have occurred near the border. The two sides fought naval gun battles in the area in 1999, 2002 and 2009. In 2010, the North torpedoed a South Korean warship in the area and shelled a South Korean border island.

   The ruling Saenuri Party demanded an apology from the main opposition Democratic United Party, saying Thursday's decision by the prosecution means that Roh's alleged remarks on the sea border were confirmed as true.

   "This proves that Roh made remarks related to giving up on the NLL as Rep. Chung claimed," the party's floor spokesman Rep. Lee Cheol-woo said. "The DUP should thoroughly repent and apologize."

   But the DUP protested, calling the prosecution's probe biased.

   "The prosecution distorted the truth and defamed the honor of late President Roh with a thoroughly biased (investigation)," said Rep. Park Beom-kye, who served as a judicial affairs secretary under Roh.

   The DUP party is expected to appeal the prosecution's decision.

   khj@yna.co.kr
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