President Roh Moo-hyun did tell North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2007 that he would not insist on the Northern Limit Line, a former high-ranking government official claimed Wednesday.
The official was responding to a claim by Saenuri Party lawmaker Chung Moon-hun on Monday during the parliamentary audit of the Unification Ministry. The source looked through what Chung claimed were minutes of a conversation between Roh and Kim taken by an official.
The authenticity of the minutes has not been confirmed. The official added, "I can't remember every one of the words used."
Confronted about his claim, Chung said President Lee Myung-bak "agonized" when he took office in 2009 whether he should make the minutes public. At the time Chung was a presidential secretary.
Doubters have insisted no secret consultations took place between Roh and Kim.
The Northern Limit Line, the de facto sea border between the two Koreas, veers sharply North in the West Sea, bringing several islands off the North Korean coast under South Korean control. North Korea disputed the NLL and has unilaterally drawn up its own sea border further south.
The area has seen several skirmishes between the two sides and is subject to incursions by North Korean fishing boats.