Seoul and Washington believe eavesdropping reports were falsified
South Korean and U.S. defense officialsLee Jong-sup and Lloyd Austin, have concluded that the Pentagon documents recently leaked to social networks which reveal that Washington allegedly spied on the South Korean Presidential Office have been falsified.
The claim was made by South Korean Deputy National Security Advisor Kim Tae-hyo, who spoke to the media after the two sides made the call and just before Kim himself boarded a flight to Washington to prepare for the summit the presidents of the two countries will hold in two weeks.
“The defense chiefs of the two countries held a phone call this morning. and the views of both coincided. The two countries have identical views that much of the information released has been fabricated,” Kim has said.
Representatives from the South Korean Presidential Office also told the agency Monday. Yonhap that it is impossible to eavesdrop on what happens inside these facilities in Seoul.including the subway bunker where the National Security Council (NSC) usually meets.
According to the leaked documents, most of which focus on intelligence extracted from the Russian side in the framework of the Ukrainian War but which also include alleged eavesdropping on allies such as South Korea, Israel or Ukraine itself, U.S. intelligence reportedly eavesdropped on a conversation that took place during an NSC meeting.
In that dialogue, then-presidential secretary for foreign affairs Lee Moon-hee and National Security Advisor Kim Sung-han allegedly discussed Washington’s request for Seoul to supply ammunition. which it is believed could be destined for the Ukrainian military, contravening South Korea’s commitment not to provide lethal material to countries in conflict.
Sources consulted by Yonhap have stated that that conversation between Lee and Kim did not take place at the Presidential Office. and that, in fact, it probably never took place.
In addition to the fact that the case has come to light just two weeks before it South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is to pay a state visit to the U.S.The issue has stirred the waters in South Korea after Yoon himself decided to abruptly move the Presidential Office after winning the election in May 2022 to the area where the Ministry of Defense is located.
The main opposition bloc in the country, the liberal Democratic Party (PD), at the time accused Yoon of moving the office on the advice of a shaman.after both the president and the first lady, Kim Keon-hee, have been associated with esoteric practices.
Representatives of the PD have pointed to the possibility that listening devices were mixed in with other equipment during the relocation of the Presidential Office, have urged to verify the alleged espionage. and have called for Yoon’s state visit to the U.S. to be reconsidered.