- 노태우 당선으로 시민 동요시 강력진압 계획.. DJ, ‘공개체포명령’ 준비도
6월 항쟁의 성과로 실시된 1987년 대선에서 노태우 후보의 패배를 우려한 여당 선거 캠프가 투표조작을 위한 세부적 계획을 세웠었다는 사실이 기밀 해제된 미국 정보기관의 서류를 통해 공개됐다고 사우스차이나모닝포스트가 보도했다.
사우스차이나모닝포스트는 20일 “‘Dirty tricks’ were planned in South Korea’s first democratic election, CIA files show-한국 최초 민주적 선거에 ‘부정한 수법’이 계획되었다고 미 CIA 기밀서류 폭로”라는 제목의 기사에서 자신들이 정보의 자유에 의거한 요청으로 단독 입수한 CIA 문서 내용을 폭로했다.
이 보도에서 주목되는 내용은 CIA는 12월 16일 선거 며칠 전 작성된 정보 보고서에서 “여당 내 당직자들 사이에서 노태우에 대한 전망이 엇갈리고 있으며, 선거 조작에 대한 압박감이 가중되고 있다”라고 평가하고, “대규모의 부정행위를 위한 계획이 이미 실행되고 있다”라고 덧붙였다고 보도한 부분이다.
“대규모의 부정행위를 위한 계획이 이미 실행되고 있다”는 부분은 당시 대선에서 대규모 부정행위가 이미 저질러지고 있다는 뜻으로 이 부분에 대한 사실 검증이 필요할 것으로 보인다.
당시 군부세력들은 노태우 후보가 패배할 경우 전두환에게 선거 무효를 선언할 기회를 주기 위해 여당 선거캠프의 계획자들은 여당의 부정행위 증거를 날조하는 방안을 가지고 있었으며 노태우의 당선으로 대규모 소요 사태가 일어날 경우 단호하게 대처할 준비를 하였으며 김대중 후보의 공개적인 체포명령도 준비하고 있었다고 보도했다.
1987 당시 대선에서도 이 같은 부정선거 의혹이 제기 되었지만 민주세력 측의 선거 패배가 후보 단일화에 실패한 두 김씨의 분열, 즉 김영삼과 김대중의 분열로 인한 것이라는 주장에 묻혀버린 바 있다.
이 보도는 부정 선거 주장이 오히려 자신들이 민주주의 보다 개인의 야망을 앞세운 사실로부터 관심을 돌리게 하려는 것이라고 느꼈다는 가디언과 워싱턴타임스를 위해 선거를 취재했던 마이클 브린 기자의 발언을 소개하기도 했다.
이 보도는 미국의 정보기관이 당시 노태우를 최선의 선택으로 보았다는 것이라는 팀 쇼락 기자의 평가를 소개하기도 했다.
팀 쇼락은 “미 정보 당국이 이러한 술책을 인지하고서도 ‘집권당 선거캠프’에 해를 가할 수 있는 그 정보를 사용하지 않았다는 것 자체가 편파성을 보여주는 것”이라며, “이런 폭로가, 예를 들어 뉴욕타임스로 유출되었다면, 미국과 한국 양측 여론에 어떤 영향을 미쳤을지 상상해 보라”고 말하기도 했다.
즉 미국이 한국의 군부독재정권의 연장을 지지하고 있었다는 사실을 뒷받침 하고 있었다는 것이다. (글, 이하로)
다음은 뉴스프로가 번역한 사우스차이나모닝포스트 기사의 전문이다.
Dirty tricks’ were planned in South Korea’s first democratic election, CIA files show
• Ahead of the landmark election in 1987, the military-backed ruling camp so feared the loss of its hand-picked candidate that it drew up detailed plans to fix the poll, declassified US intelligence shows.
• The documents also show that the South Korean government was prepared to crack down hard on any unrest following the vote.
The winning side in the 1987 election that heralded South Korea’s transition to democracy planned to use “dirty tricks”, including ballot tampering, to ensure its victory, newly declassified US intelligence shows, raising new questions about the integrity of the historic vote.
Roh Tae-woo, the designated successor of military strongman Chun Doo-hwan, was elected as president of South Korea after bowing to public pressure to hold free elections and restore civil liberties after decades of US-backed dictatorship following the 1950-53 Korean war.
But ahead of the landmark election, the military-backed ruling camp so feared the loss of its hand-picked candidate that it drew up detailed plans to fix the poll, according to CIA documents obtained exclusively by the South China Morning Post through a freedom of information request.
“Officials in the ruling party are divided over Roh Tae-woo’s prospects, and pressure is building to fix the election,” the CIA assessed in an intelligence briefing written days ahead of the December 16 election, adding that a “plan for extensive fraud is already being implemented”.
In another briefing, the US spy agency concluded that the ruling Democratic Justice Party, the only political party permitted to operate freely for much of Chun’s eight-year rule, was “increasingly nervous about Roh’s chances in a non-controlled election” due to his negative association with the military dictatorship among the public.
“As a result, they are considering black propaganda and dirty tricks, reportedly to include ballot tampering; some officials now appear prepared to go even further,” a briefing dated November 23 said, citing a source who claimed “ruling-camp planners have thought about fabricating evidence of ruling-party fraud to give Chun an opportunity to declare the election null and void if government projections from early returns indicate Roh is losing”.
The Post attempted to contact Roh through an aide of his brother-in-law, former lawmaker Park Cheol-eon, but was told the ex-president left politics years ago and had no comment.
Tim Shorrock, a journalist and author on national security issues who covered the election, said the documents suggested the US intelligence establishment saw Roh as the best choice at the time.
“That it would only note these tactics and refrain from using the information to undermine the ‘ruling camp’ itself shows favouritism,” said Shorrock. “Imagine what a revelation like this would have on public opinion in both the US and South Korea if it was leaked to, say, The New York Times.”
The documents also show that the South Korean government was prepared to crack down hard on any unrest following the vote, with an intelligence briefing stating that an “open arrest order” had been prepared for opposition candidate Kim Dae-jung – who would go on to win the presidency and be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for pursuing rapprochement with North Korea – if he tried to “instigate a popular revolt against the election results”.
The briefing, dated December 11, said that government officials had discussed “contingency plans for martial law or more limited emergency measures should widespread unrest follow Roh’s victory” and “a move to crack down could come as early as this afternoon”.
Shorrock said the extent of US knowledge was “extraordinary information for any intelligence agency to have about another country’s senior leadership”.
It is unclear to what extent the ruling camp followed through on its plans to cheat in the election, in which Roh secured 37 per cent of the vote, compared to 28 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively, for rival opposition leaders Kim Yong-sam and Kim Dae-jung.
The election was widely accepted as legitimate by the South Korean public at the time due to the size of Roh’s win, and came to be seen as the start of the country’s democratic era.
Although opposition figures levelled accusations of cheating at the time, international election monitors did not report widespread irregularities, and the two Kims ended up shouldering much of the blame for Roh’s victory due to their failure to put forward a unified liberal candidacy.
“There was a view that had the Kims united the government would still have fiddled the result but the feeling was what the Kims had done made it unnecessary and that crying foul was a distraction to their having placed personal ambition over democracy,” said Michael Breen, who covered the election for The Guardian and The Washington Times.
US intelligence officials drew similar conclusions. In a briefing written days after the election, the CIA said the “restrained public reaction” to Roh’s victory suggested South Koreans would be unwilling to challenge the outcome.
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