South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol on Wednesday said Seoul is still talking with Washington about the fallout from leaked Department of Defense intelligence that revealed the U.S. was spying on its Asian ally.
Yoon, during a press conference alongside President Biden in the White House Rose Garden, was asked if the intelligence leaks came up in their personal conversations and if Biden had provided any assurances.
“With regard to that, we are communicating between our two countries and we are sharing necessary information,” Yoon said.
“I believe investigation is underway in the United States, so various and complex variables are always in play, we need time to wait for the investigation results by the United States and we plan to continue to communicate on the manner.”
A leak of classified Pentagon intelligence documents discovered last month revealed wide-spread U.S. spying on allies and adversaries alike, in particular intelligence that detailed South Korea’s discomfort with an American request to export weapons to Ukraine. It also showcased Washington’s deep infiltration of private conversations of a foreign government.
South Korean officials tempered outrage in the initial discovery of the U.S. surveillance, saying that it had discussed the leaked documents with Washington and agreed that “a considerable number” of documents were fabricated, the Associated Press reported.
“There’s no indication that the U.S., which is our ally, conducted (eavesdropping) on us with malicious intent,” Kim Tae-hyo, Seoul’s deputy national security director, told reporters in Washington, according to the AP, ahead of Yoon’s bilateral with the president.
The leak is alleged to have been carried out by a junior officer with the Massachusetts Air National Guard who published U.S. secrets to an online gaming forum before they were promulgated to the wider internet.
The Pentagon said it had launched an investigation into the circumstances of the leak and the extent of damage to U.S. national security, but has provided few details on how the prove is being carried out, the officials in charge and how it will deliver its conclusions.
Source: The Hill