NIS funded conservative group’s efforts to revoke Kim Dae-jung’s Nobel Peace Prize

Posted on : 2017-10-17 17:21 KST Modified on : 2017-10-17 17:21 KST
Documents show agency attempted to discredit the former President’s inter-Korean Summit in 2000
The Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at the Oslo City Hall
The Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at the Oslo City Hall

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) enlisted a conservative group to wage a campaign funded by the service’s budget to have former President Kim Dae-jung’s Nobel Peace Prize revoked during the Lee Myung-bak administration (2008 - 13), the NIS’s Reform and Development Committee revealed on Oct. 16.

The plan for the Nobel Prize operation was reported by the NIS by personal wire to the service’s then-director Won Sei-hoon.

In Mar. 2010, the year after Kim’s death, the NIS’s psychological warfare team formed a plan – subsequently reported to the service’s director – for the group Liberalism Progress Union to send a letter to the chairperson of the Nobel Committee requesting that it revoke the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Kim in 2000.

On Mar. 9, the Liberalism Progress Union sent a letter in the name of its president, surnamed Choi, to Nobel Committee secretary Geir Lundestad, bearing the title “Kim Dae-jung’s Nobel Peace Prize should be revoked.” To support its argument for revoking the honor, the group cited former International Herald Tribune Seoul correspondent Donald Kirk’s 2009 book “Korea Betrayed,” an English-language copy of which was included with the letter with Lundestad.

“The awarding of a Nobel Prize to Kim Dae-jung was inappropriate. The reason for his receipt of the Nobel Prize was the inter-Korean summit that took place in June 2000, but it has already been revealed that [the summit] was a political ‘show’ achieved by giving astronomical amounts of under-the-table money to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il,” the letter claimed.

A total of 3 million won (US$2,650) for the letter’s mailing, including 2.5 million won (US$2,210) for English translation and shipping and 500,000 won (US$440) for pamphlet purchasing, was paid out of the NIS budget. Prosecutors requested an NIS Reform and Development Committee investigation on Oct. 11 after confirming the exchange of emails calling for the revocation of Kim’s Nobel Prize between an NIS psychological warfare team staffer and an official with a conservative group.


By Kim Kyu-nam, staff reporter

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