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Clash of Diplomacies: Former South Korean President Slams Current Foreign Policy

Daniel Kim Views  

On the 27th, Jang Ho Jin, the head of the National Security Office, responded to former President Moon Jae In’s criticism of Yoon Suk Yeol’s foreign policy in his memoir. Jang said, “There were comments about the ‘deferential diplomacy’ and ‘humiliating diplomacy’ towards China during the last administration, but we do not practice such diplomacy.”

This criticism of the previous administration’s policy towards China comes at a time when bilateral diplomacy with China is being normalized through the first trilateral summit between Korea, Japan, and China in four and a half years. It is analyzed that this is to announce the successful conclusion of this meeting both domestically and internationally.

Jang stated on TV Chosun News9 that afternoon, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to mention the former president, but since he brought it up and there’s a question, I’ll answer.”

Jang pointed out, “There were several controversies both domestically and internationally as soon as his memoir was published. Even former high-ranking U.S. officials said a lot about it being different from the facts, so I don’t think much more needs to be said.”

Jang explained, “When President Moon went to China at the end of 2017, the THAAD issue was all resolved and it was said that the Korea-China fishing restrictions would be lifted. At that time, senior officials from the Blue House told the media, and there was a lot of coverage.”

Jang continued, “After that, there were several incomprehensible incidents where we had to ask China to lift economic sanctions, but instead, China told us to solve the THAAD issue, and we couldn’t say anything.” He added, “Because of such incidents, there were comments that the last administration was ‘deferential’ and ‘humiliating’ in its diplomacy towards China.”

Jang spoke on the inclusion of the phrase “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula'” in the joint declaration of the 9th Korea-Japan-China summit. He said, “The fact that the expression ‘denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’ itself was included means that each country explained its position with the premise and goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

He added, “China has not been using the expression ‘denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’ in official statements for quite some time. But this time, they agreed to use that expression.”

In response to a question about the possibility of Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting Korea, Jang said, “This meeting was with Premier Li Qiang, so we did not mention the issue of President Xi’s visit. However, President Xi himself said he would come when the conditions were ripe at the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Asian Games last year, so I think he will naturally come.”

Previously, former President Moon criticized the Yoon government’s foreign policy in his memoir From the Periphery to the Center published on the second anniversary of his resignation. He strongly criticized the Yoon government’s action to suspend the effectiveness of the 9.19 Inter-Korean Military Agreement as “very dangerous, reckless, and foolish.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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