[WIKI 비밀문서] 주한 미 대사관이 분석한 김대중-노무현 정권... "북한 자극하는 것 두려워 했다?”
[WIKI 비밀문서] 주한 미 대사관이 분석한 김대중-노무현 정권... "북한 자극하는 것 두려워 했다?”
  • 최석진 기자
  • 기사승인 2019-09-11 08:47:45
  • 최종수정 2019.09.14 06:55
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손을 맞잡은 노무현 전 대통령과 김정일 전 국방위원장. [청와대 사진기자단]
손을 맞잡은 노무현 전 대통령과 김정일 전 국방위원장. [청와대 사진기자단]

한반도에 지각변동이 진행되고 있는 가운데 김대중, 노무현 정권이 북한 정권이 갑자기 붕괴되는 상황에 대비한 논의를 금지하는 등 북한을 자극하는 것을 두려워 했던 것으로 판단했다는 주한미국대사관 내부 전문이 나왔다.

위키리크스가 입수한 2008년 9월 10일자 주한미대사관의 본국 국무부 기밀 보고전문에 따르면, 당시 알렉산더 버시바우 대사는 ‘김정일의 건강 이상설’과 관련, 한국 내에서 수집된 다양한 정보를 보고했다.

보고에서 버시바우 대사는 “모든 고위급 회동에서, 미국과 남한은 북한 문제에 관해 긴밀히 협의하자는데 항상 견해를 같이 한다”고 밝혔다. 그는 그러나 “그러나 말보다 실천이 더 어려운 상황인 것이, 과거 10년 동안 김대중, 노무현 대통령이 북한의 안정과 예측 가능성에 중점을 둔 광범위한 포용정책에 헌신했던 게 그 이유”라고 지적했다.

버시바우 대사는 “북한을 자극하길 두려워 했던 노무현과 김대중은 미국은 말할 것도 없이 한국정부 내부에서도 북한 유사시 논의를 본질적으로 금하였다”고 평가했다. 이 기밀 보고 전문의 비밀해제 시점은 2018년 9월이다.

당시 보고전문은 미국이 김대중, 노무현 정권 내내 불편한 속내를 갖고 있었으며, 이명박 정권 들어서도 미국 주도의 북한 정책을 펼쳐가는데 앞선 두 정권의 정책이 상당한 장애적 요소로 작용하고 있었고 있었다는 점을 시사하고 있다.

버시바우 대사는 이 전문을 끝으로 이임했으며, 이후 미국 국방부 국제안보담당 차관보에 임명됐다. 김정일은 2008년 당시부터 끊임없이 건강 이상설에 휘말리다 2011년 12월 사망했다.

[위키리크스한국=최석진 기자]

주한 미국대사관은 김대중-노무현 정권이 북한을 자극하는 것을 두려워했다고 평가했다. [청와대 사진기자단]
주한 미국대사관은 김대중-노무현 정권이 북한을 자극하는 것을 두려워했다고 평가했다. [청와대 사진기자단]

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SEOUL 001795

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/10/2018
 TAGS: KS, KN, PGOV, PREL
 SUBJECT: KIM JONG-IL ILL HEALTH RUMORS
 Classified By: Ambassador Alexander Vershbow. Reasons 1.4 (b/d).

SUMMARY
 1.(C) Rumors that Kim Jong-il (KJI) may be gravely ill or
 worse are circulating in Seoul, fueled by various leaked
 intel and his failure to appear at the September 9 Pyongyang
 parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of
 the DPRK. The ROKG initial reaction is cautious, seeking
 factual information on his condition. President Lee
 Myung-bak held an emergency cabinet-level meeting about the
 issue on September 10. South Koreans are of the view that if
 KJI is indeed incapacitated or dead, the situation would be
 quite different from that of Kim Il-sung's death in 1994,
 when his successor, KJI, had been clearly designated and the
 military power balance was more favorable to the North than
 now. ROKG officials have also conveyed to us informally that
 that even if the rumors of KJI's ill-health turn out to be
 exaggerated on this occasion, Seoul and Washington should
 begin discussions on North Korean contingencies. END SUMMARY.


 KJI OUT OF SIGHT

1.(SBU) Koreans noted in early September that Kim Jong-il
 had not been seen publicly since August 14, when the DPRK's
 Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that he had
 visited Korean People's Army Unit 1319, a report that could
 not be independently verified. The buzz increased after a
 September 6 media report cited an unnamed ROKG official to
 the effect that five Chinese doctors had recently visited
 Pyongyang during late August/early September to treat KJI.
 Subsequent articles speculated that he had suffered a stroke
 or heart attack, noting his reputed diabetes and heavy
 drinking.
 (SBU) On September 10, ROK media reported widely the fact

2.that KJI did not appear at the September 9 parade
 commemorating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the
 DPRK. The articles noted that KJI had regularly appeared at
 the September 9 event, the DPRK's equivalent of July 4, and
 that 60th anniversaries were especially important in Korea.
 Subsequent media reports on September 10 cited North Korean
 officials, including head of state Kim Yong-nam, denying that
 there was anything wrong with KJI, but not explaining his
 absence. The tone of ROK media reports has been cautious,
 noting past episodes, such as mid-2006, when KJI was out of
 sight for months and subsequently reappeared. By the evening
 of September 10, TV and radio news broadcasts were dominated
 by speculation over KJI's whereabouts and welfare; media
 speculation also extended to possible successors, KJI's past
 illnesses, regime stability, and the future of inter-Korean
 relations.

ROKG REACTION -- MUTED SO FAR

1.(C) ROKG reaction has also been cautious, focusing on
 getting the facts. President Lee Myung-bak held an emergency
 meeting on the issue on September 10, which a contact
 described as focusing on the ROKG impression that KJI is
 chronically ill, even if his current condition is not known.
 Minister of Unification Kim Ha-joong told the National
 Assembly's Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee during
 previously scheduled September 10 hearings that, "Nothing has
 been confirmed but that (Kim) was absent from the September 9
 event." Meanwhile, MOFAT's Six-Party Talks Representative
 told a contact that he believed KJI was now recuperating from
 a stroke.

2.(C) Contacts in MOFAT's Office of Inter-Korean affairs
 told us that they felt certain that KJI had suffered a stroke
 and that MOFAT officers had been recalled from leave to work
 the issue. In a previously scheduled meeting with POL M/C,
 MOFAT Director-General Chang Ho-Jin said that he was quite
 worried that there was no "real planning or discussion" on
 North Korea "contingency" issues. He said that he had been
 thinking about these issues for some time and that he had
 been asked recently to begin inormal consultations with his
 USG counterparts. Perhaps, PDAS Arvizu's visit later this
 month could kick off such discussions, DG Chang said.

3.(C) Also in a previously scheduled meeting, GNP National
 Assemblyman Lee Sang-deuk, who is the elder brother of
 President Lee, told POL M/C that he believed Washington and
 Seoul should have a process in place to discuss North Korean
 issues. Rep. Lee assessed that the "political mood" within
 the ROKG had changed substantially since the Roh Moo-hyun
 days; he was quite certain the Blue House would welcome such
 discussions, which should focus on broad political
 strategies, such as how to assess the possible reactions of
 regional powers, especially China, Russia and Japan, and how
 to deal with a likely flood of refugees.

UNCERTAINTY COMPARED TO 1994

1.(C) If KJI is incapacitated or worse, Korean analysts have
 pointed out, the situation would be much more uncertain than
 in 1994, when KJI had clearly been groomed to succeed Kim
 Il-sung. ROK media in recent days have renewed speculation
 about which, if any, of KJI's sons might succeed him, but
 virtually all DPRK watchers here agree that all the sons are
 too weak to have any chance at the top slot. Another
 difference from 1994 is that the DPRK is much weaker now,
 after the mid-1990s famine and subsequent continuing decline
 in agricultural output and GDP. The corollary is that South
 Korea is substantially stronger, economically and militarily,
 than in 1994. In addition, the fact that the DPRK tested a
 nuclear weapon in October 2006 and may have several nuclear
 weapons on hand would bear on any succession crisis. Taken
 together, several analysts believe, these factors could mean
 that the ROKG, with the conservative Lee Administration in
 charge, would be interested in affecting outcomes in the DPRK
 if KJI leaves the scene, which is in contrast to 1994 when
 the ROK was interested in stability above all else.

COMMENT: CONSULTATIONS NEEDED

1.(C) In all high-level meetings, the U.S. and South Korea
 always agree to consult closely on North Korea issues. This
 was easier said than done, however, during the past ten
 years, mostly because Presidents Roh Moo-hyun and Kim
 Dae-jung were committed to a broad engagement policy centered
 on providing stability and predictability for North Korea.
 Fearing a provoked North Korea, Roh and Kim essentially
 forbade discussions of North Korean contingencies within the
 ROKG, let alone with us. Given DG Chang's overture -- and
 Rep Lee's views -- we assess that this topic is no longer
 taboo. Even if the current rumors about KJI's ill health
 turn out to be exaggerated, we believe this episode points to
 the need to begin regular consultations with the ROKG about
 contingencies in the North, and soon. VERSHBOW

♦ 주한미국대사관의 국무부 보고 전문/ 번역

http://wikileaks-kr.org/08seoul1795/

 

wiki@wikileaks-kr.org


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