President Moon Jae-in has stressed there can be no loopholes whatsoever in national defense in the wake of media reports on the military briefing about the discovery of a North Korean boat in South Korea.
According to the presidential office, Moon made the comments on Tuesday while reprimanding the Defense Ministry's briefing held a day earlier regarding the boat. The president was quoted as saying the Office of National Security was also responsible for the lapse as the ministry had coordinated the briefing with the office beforehand.
Speaking to reporters Friday, a senior top office official said Moon raised questions about the briefing and the military's statement that there were no issues with maritime surveillance. The president reportedly said the military's assessment was flawed due to its sole focus on aspects of defense posture.
The official also noted that when contingencies arise, the Defense Ministry naturally gives a report to the presidential office.
The official explained that the national security office was informed of the contents of the briefing but did not coordinate on responses for the question and answer section with media.
The official said the person within the security office who gave final confirmation for the ministry briefing should also be held accountable, and made clear the defense ministry was not trying to conceal facts.
The military's initial briefing on the case of a North Korean fishing vessel reaching port in South Korea last week has been scrutinized and criticized for giving off the impression that the military was not to blame for the security lapse.