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Ex-Officials Say Northern Limit Line is Korea뭩 Maritime Trip Wire
AUGUST 27, 2007 07:26  
Amid the government뭩 move to put the adjustment of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) on agenda at the second inter-Korea summit slated for early October, two former reserve officers who held an important position in the department handling intelligence on North Korea for the Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Dae-jung administration said, 밫he NLL is a maritime trip wire.

North Korea has been tenacious in demanding the scraping of the NLL. The tension over the NLL issue is escalating in South Korea after Unification Minister Lee Jae-jung remarked in the National Assembly on August 10, 밫he NLL is not a territorial matter but a security matter.

Key officials of the Unification Ministry came out supporting Minister Lee뭩 statement on the government뭩 internet newspaper site on August 22, but Cheong Wa Dae refuses to clarify its position on raising the NLL issue at the summit while just maintaining that the NLL is a virtual maritime border.

In an interview with Dong-A Ilbo yesterday, reserve officials Park Seung-chun (60) and Han Chul-yong (60), criticized the government뭩 ambiguous attitude, saying, 밡orth Korea is seeking to break up the South뭩 security crossbar by incapacitating the NLL.

The two said, 밫he NLL has preserved the peace and has been a maritime trip wire that prevented conflicts between the two Koreas for more than a half-century, and warned that yielding the NLL would translate into removing a security shield for the Incheon and metropolitan area.

The two added, 밫he real intention behind the North뭩 move to abolish the NLL is to neutralize the South뭩 navy forces around the West Sea that would obstruct its attack against the South in case of a war, and pointed out, 밫he claim that yielding the NLL will bring peace on the West Sea is just a fantasy that ignores the North뭩 military strategy against the South.

The two of them left the military service over the controversy regarding the NLL.

After the naval clash of 2002 in the West Sea, Han was disciplined and discharged from military service for saying that the military leadership ignored signs of Northern provocation.

Park left the military after making public a message showing that the North tried to deceive the South back in July of 2004.

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