In this way, military intelligence and the investigation contents of the Coast Guard collide at decisive points.
Reporter Pil-jun Kim is also here today (the 21st). First, let’s check the internal affairs report. What is written?
This is the Coast Guard’s internal investigation report.
It is a total of two sheets, but if you look at the back page like this, there is an investigator’s opinion, “There is a possibility that the missing person fell into the sea with a life jacket, etc., so I checked for any missing items and confirmed that there were none.”
So, in the investigation at the time, there was no trace of Mr. Lee taking the life jacket out of the boat.
Then, isn’t it possible that Mr. Lee may have jumped into the sea wearing the life jacket he had personally?
That seems unlikely.
It is understood that a sailor who was on the boat at the time told the Coast Guard that “I did not see Mr. Lee carrying a personal life jacket or float.”
In the end, the investigation could not confirm whether Lee was wearing a life jacket or not.
But didn’t the Coast Guard announce to reporters a month later that he was wearing a life jacket?
you’re right. Life jackets were suggested as the main reason for the decision to defect to North Korea. Let’s hear it for yourself.
[윤성현/당시 해경 수사정보국장 (2020년 10월 22일) : 실종자가 북측에서 발견될 당시 부유물에 의지한 채 구명조끼를 착용하고 있었던 정황 등을 감안할 때, 실족이나 극단적 선택 가능성은 매우 낮다고 판단하였습니다.]
However, at the time, the Coast Guard was unable to determine where and what life jacket Lee was wearing and from where he escaped.
I asked the Coast Guard again today on what basis they made that conclusion.
A Coast Guard official explained, “At the time, we did not know the exact source of the life jacket, but based on the Ministry of Defense data, it was believed that Mr. Lee was wearing a life jacket.”
The Coast Guard was based on data from the Ministry of National Defense, not the results of the investigation. Are you repeating this over and over again?
That’s right. It was the same with the confiscated items delivered yesterday, but it is true that the Coast Guard did not provide any evidence or circumstances of defection through the investigation.
So, in the end, it is necessary to figure out what the Ministry of National Defense data was at the time, especially the SI information used by the military as a basis for judgment, that is, the contents of special handling information.
When we interviewed a key official of the National Assembly National Defense Committee, our military intercepted the report of the North Korean army at the time, and there was a North Korean expression meaning North Korea here.
Lee was wearing a life jacket and the details of revealing his identity are also known as information obtained through military interception.
So, if you do not disclose the contents of the military’s intelligence, it seems that claims will continue to clash. Can you reveal this?
It doesn’t look like it’s going to be easy.
SI information is a national secret and is an information asset of the ROK-US Combined Forces.
The current government needs to get the consent of the United States to disclose it, but President Yoon Seok-yeol said the opposite today.
[거기에 대해서는 저도 SI라고 하는 것이, 그게 아마 국민들께 그냥 공개하는 것이 간단한 문제는 아니라고 저는 생각을 하고…그런 걸 공개하라고 하는 주장 자체는 좀 받아들여지기가 좀 어렵지 않나 싶은데…]
For this reason, some in the political circles argue that only the core content should be disclosed and limited, but since the ruling party is in the position of the ruling party to disclose the presidential records as well as the issue directly related to security, a proper discussion between the ruling and opposition parties has not been conducted yet.