Several high-ranking South Korean officials have claimed that a trove of leaked Pentagon documents allegedly detailing US eavesdropping on Seoul resembled a hoax.
Dozens of sensitive US documents, which have been circulating on social media for at least several weeks but have only recently come to public attention, describe Washington’s alleged efforts to spy on its international partners, including South Korea, its key ally in the region.
The explosive files provide details of internal discussions between senior South Korean officials, who reportedly expressed concern that ammunition sold by Seoul to the United States could possibly be sent to Ukraine, violating South Korea’s policy of not to provide lethal aid to countries in conflict.
On Wednesday, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said the specific document in question appeared to be fabricated, adding that Washington “try to find out the truth, and if so, South Korea and the United States will share the information.”
His comments largely echo previous statements by Seoul officials. On Tuesday, South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and his American counterpart Lloyd Austin agreed that a “a significant number of relevant documents had been falsified”, according to the statement issued by the Seoul presidential office. However, he did not specify whether the ministers were referring to the package as a whole or only to documents related to South Korea.
Seoul also claimed that any speculation about possible US spying on the presidential office is “absurd and false” pointing to waterproof security to the compound.
However, the South Korean opposition took a different tone. Lee Jae-myung, who leads the main opposition Democratic Party, said if it turns out that the United States was spying on Seoul, it would be “a very disappointing act that undermines the South Korea-US alliance…based on mutual trust.” If the information in the documents is confirmed, Washington should apologize to the South Korean people, he added.
You can share this story on social media: