A U.S. government document has revealed that the South Korean government in 2007 decided to abstain from a UN vote on a North Korean human rights resolution just two hours before the referendum.
The timing conflicts with the account from former Roh Moo-hyun administration officials that the decision was already made in a meeting days earlier without previously checking with Pyongyang on the matter.
According to WikiLeaks on Wednesday, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow sent a report to Washington about two weeks after November's UN General Assembly vote, detailing his embassy staff's conversation with South Korea's Foreign Ministry officials about the abstention.
In the document titled, 'UNGA FOLLOW UP DEMARCHE DELIVERED,' Vershbow cited South Korean officials as explaining that the voting decision came only after "painful discussions" just two hours before the UN session.
In a memoir published last week, then Foreign Minister Song Min-soon stated that then presidential chief of staff Moon Jae-in at a meeting agreed with the then-National Intelligence Service chief, who wanted to inquire Pyongyang's position before finalizing Seoul's direction on the UN vote on North Korea's human rights issue.
Amid criticism from the ruling camp that the Roh government sought approval from the North on the matter, former presidential officials denied the allegations.