Amid mounting controversy over martial law proposal by the Defense Security Command (DSC) during last year’s candlelight vigils, a civic group claimed that the DSC had wiretapped former President Roh Moo-hyun and his defense minister. There are testimonies that DSC officials openly expressed antipathy to the late president’s autobiography, calling it “seditious.”
The Center for Military Human Rights held a press conference on Monday and raised a suspicion that the DSC had inspected millions of civilians, disclosing the organizational structure of the DSC and its inspection method. “We have (multiple) reports that the DSC tapped phone conversations between former President Roh Moo-hyun and his Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung,” said Lim Tae-hoon, the head of the Center for Military Human Rights. “The DSC, which is supposed to take orders from the president and the minister, kept watch on its superiors.”
“I may have had at least one phone conversation (with the president) as I was in office for more than two years,” said former Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung in a telephone interview with The Dong-A Ilbo. “I do not know if (the DSC) conducted wiretapping. This is not a matter about which I should express my opinion.”
Some people in the military say that wiretapping by the DSC may not be illegal if Roh and Yoon used wired military telephone. Article 7 of the Protection of Communications Secrets Act states that the heads of the intelligence and investigative agencies prescribed by Presidential Decree may take communication-restricting measures (limited to a case where the telecommunications are used to carry out operations) if the collection of intelligence is required for the sake of national intelligence.
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