Rival parties should refrain from blame game

President Yoon Suk-yeol is expected to continue to confront controversy over the reported use of foul language during his three-nation visit last week. Now he needs to reflect on his failure to hold a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden. Most of all, he should figure out why he had to go through such lengths to realize a one-on-one meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the U.S. General Assembly.

Wrapping up his trip to Britain, the U.S. and Canada, the presidential office issued a statement Sunday saying that Yoon carried out "value-based diplomacy" to step up cooperation with Korea's allies and partners based on freedom and solidarity. Yet his visit was far from a success, given that what he had done was unable to meet the people's expectations.

Yoon and his diplomatic staff deserve all the blame. First, they cannot avoid criticism for a lack of thorough preparations for his schedule and protocols.

His first stop was London to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. But Yoon failed to pay his respects to the late queen while she was lying in state, a day before her funeral. The failure provided ammunition for the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) to lambast Yoon for messing up his "condolence diplomacy."

Yoon has also came under fire for not holding a planned summit with Biden. Yoon met Biden for about 48 seconds during Biden's fundraising event. So he lost a chance to protect the interests of Korean automakers which are feared to suffer huge losses from the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act aimed at excluding Korean-made electric vehicles from tax subsidies.

In addition, Yoon was denounced for engaging in "humiliating" diplomacy when he visited the venue of an event hosted by Kishida in New York. His had "informal talks" with the Japanese prime minister, which fell short of a summit. More seriously, Yoon was unable to make any progress in resolving the long-standing dispute with Japan over wartime forced labor.

Making matter worse, Yoon was recorded using vulgar words by a television camera. This has touched off a political fight between the DPK and the ruling People Power Party (PPP) over whether Yoon targeted the U.S. Congress or the National Assembly of Korea. It took about 15 hours for the presidential office to explain that the indecent language was directed toward the Assembly, probably the opposition party.

The belated explanation invited the rage of the DPK, which has called for Yoon's apology and the reshuffle of his diplomatic team. The DPK has even threatened to push for a parliamentary investigation or a probe by an independent counsel to shed light on what it refers to as Yoon's "diplomatic disaster." The wrangling is escalating as the PPP compared the DPK's move to a mad cow disease case that spread groundless fears about dangers of U.S. beef imports in 2008. The PPP has also accused DPK Chairman Lee Jae-myung for directing slurs at his sister-in-law.

The rival parties appear to have gone too far in the blame game, dimming the prospect of a bipartisanship ahead of a parliamentary inspection of the government and planned deliberations on the 2023 state budget bill. Before it is too late, Yoon should apologize for using profanity. His sincere apology is needed to prevent a further confrontation between the ruling and opposition camp and to restore the public's trust. Yoon also must reshuffle his diplomatic staff to take responsibility for his diplomatic fumbles.




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Apologize for controversy

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26.09.2022
Rival parties should refrain from blame game

President Yoon Suk-yeol is expected to continue to confront controversy over the reported use of foul language during his three-nation visit last week. Now he needs to reflect on his failure to hold a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden. Most of all, he should figure out why he had to go through such lengths to realize a one-on-one meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the U.S. General Assembly.

Wrapping up his trip to Britain, the U.S. and Canada, the presidential office issued a statement Sunday saying that Yoon carried out "value-based diplomacy" to step up cooperation with Korea's allies and partners based on freedom and solidarity. Yet his visit was far from a success, given that what he had done was unable to meet the people's expectations.

Yoon and his diplomatic staff deserve all........

© The Korea Times


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