Thursday, May 28, 2020 | ePaper

Seoul appoints envoy to US who called Trump 'treacherous'

  • Print


Lee also once served as a Deputy Foreign Minister of South Korea

AFP, Seoul :
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday appointed a new ambassador to the US who has described Donald Trump as "treacherous", only a month after Britain's envoy to Washington had to step down over his criticisms of the US president.
In the early 2000s, Lee Soo-hyuck, a career diplomat before becoming a ruling party lawmaker, was Seoul's chief negotiator in the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programme.
Now he will be responsible for guiding the relationship between Seoul and Washington, who have not always seen eye-to-eye over the nuclear-armed North or their own ties.
But only last year the South's Chosun Ilbo newspaper cited him as criticising Trump.
Lee had been asked about an incident at the White House when the US president declined to have Moon's answer to a reporter's question translated, saying "I'm sure I've heard it before".
Lee told the paper: "That's Trump's style. I don't think he's only done that to Moon. He's treacherous," adding that as a former businessman the US leader had a tendency to say insincere things.
"To be honest, I really don't like", Lee went on, without making clear whether his disapproval was of Trump personally or his manner.
His appointment comes only a month after Britain's ambassador to Washington resigned after Trump targeted him over highly critical comments that put London and Washington's relationship on edge.
In a series of confidential diplomatic cables revealed by a British newspaper, Kim Darroch described the US leader as "inept" and his White House as "uniquely dysfunctional", adding the president was "radiating insecurity".
Trump hit back with a torrent of angry tweets, saying he would not deal with Darroch again, describing him as a "very stupid guy" and a "pompous fool", also calling Britain's then prime minister Theresa May "foolish".
Seoul and Washington are in a security alliance and the US stations 28,500 troops in the South to protect it against its neighbour, which invaded in 1950. Trump has repeatedly demanded Seoul pay more towards the cost of the US troop presence, and has hinted that it could be withdrawn.
Negotiations on another increase had started, he tweeted Thursday, only for Seoul to deny that was the case.
The North has fired four sets of projectiles in the last two weeks to demonstrate its anger over joint military exercises between the South and the US but Trump has played them down, raising concerns among some South Koreans that Washington is concerned primarily with its own security.
And while Seoul and Tokyo are embroiled in a bitter dispute over trade and history, conservative Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has established a much closer relationship with Trump, bonding over burgers and golf, than has Moon, a left-leaning former human rights lawyer.

More News For this Category

Prison riot kills 23 in Colombia as Chile enforces virus curfew

Prison riot kills 23 in Colombia as Chile enforces virus curfew

AFP :Panic over the spread of the coronavirus sparked a prison riot in Colombia that killed 23 inmates on Sunday, as Chile became the latest Latin American country to announce

US envoy says Kabul, Taliban in first prisoner exchange talks

US envoy says Kabul, Taliban in first prisoner exchange talks

AFP :The Afghan government and the Taliban on Sunday held their first discussion on arranging prisoner exchanges, a key step in a broader push for peace, the US special envoy

US Secretary of State Pompeo visits Kabul amid multiple crises

US Secretary of State Pompeo visits Kabul amid multiple crises

AFP  :US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, a pool report said, amid an ongoing political crisis, a raging Taliban insurgency and rising

Queen Elizabeth II moves out of palace as aide tests virus positive

NDTV :The 93-year-old monarch shifted out of the palace to Windsor Castle indefinitely on Thursday as a "precaution" and reports are that she is healthy.The aide is believed to have

Fears Bali will emerge as Indonesia's coronavirus hotspot

Fears Bali will emerge as Indonesia's coronavirus hotspot

Al Jazeera News :Denpasar, Indonesia - Authorities in Bali will allow tens of thousands of people to attend Hindu ceremonies for the island's new year, or Nyepi, celebrations this week

Zero coronavirus cases in North Korea?

Zero coronavirus cases in North Korea?

AFP :North Korea has said it has released almost all the foreigners it quarantined as a precaution.With international focus on the coronavirus, North Korea has doubled down on its missile

Iran leader refuses US help, citing virus conspiracy theory

Iran leader refuses US help, citing virus conspiracy theory

AP, Dubai :Iran's supreme leader Sunday refused U.S. assistance to fight the new coronavirus, citing an unfounded conspiracy theory that the virus could be man-made by America.Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments

N Korea says Trump's letter offers anti-virus cooperation

N Korea says Trump's letter offers anti-virus cooperation

AP, Seoul :President Donald Trump sent a personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, seeking to maintain good relations and offering cooperation in fighting the viral pandemic, Kim's

Netanyahu offers to step down next year in unity deal

Netanyahu offers to step down next year in unity deal

AP, Jerusalem :Israel's prime minister Saturday said he is ready to step down next year as part of a proposed power-sharing agreement with his chief rival meant to steer the

Virus concerns lead to 'public' meetings without the public

Virus concerns lead to 'public' meetings without the public

AP, Jefferson City :First, Oklahoma lawmakers excluded the public from the Capitol because of coronavirus concerns.Then with the public gone, lawmakers made an emergency change to the state's open-meetings law