Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for South Korea

Newsline: South Korean Man Threatened To Blow Up The Japanese Embassy

NBC’s Olympic coverage apparently infuriated one man so much that he threatened to bomb an embassy. A middle-aged South Korean man was detained for threatening to blow up the Japanese embassy in Seoul with dynamite after an NBC commentator insensitively praised Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Sunday, citing local police. The man confessed to the charges, admitting he made the call to the embassy in a fit of rage while drunk.



Newsline: South Korean embassy objects to development near ambassador’s residence in Dublin

The South Korean embassy has cited the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations as part of an effort to prevent a development next to its ambassador’s residence in Dublin. Embassy officials filed a detailed three-page objection to proposals before Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to build on a site beside its ambassador’s official residence, Seoul Manor, in Carrickmines, south Dublin. As part of the planning application for the two-storey house at the Glenheather property on Brennanstown Road, a portion of the site would be given over to the council so that a curve in the road might be widened.


Newsline: Still No US Ambassador in South Korea

While the world watched the two Koreas walk together at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, there was one person not in attendance: the U.S. ambassador to Seoul. The reason was simple: despite being in office for over a year, the Trump administration has yet to appoint one. As has been widely reported, the previously presumed appointment of Victor Cha as the next ambassador was withdrawn last week, allegedly the result of a fundamental disagreement over North Korea policy between Cha on the one hand and President Donald Trump and his advisers on the other. The Washington Post’s Anna Fifield and David Nakamura have done an outstanding job reporting on the events behind the Trump administration’s withdrawal of Cha’s pending appointment, highlighting both the inconsistency and unprecedented nature of its claim to have scuttled Cha’s appoint over background vetting issues rather than policy differences. As shown, the Trump administration’s claim does not stand up even to cursory examination.


Newsline: South Korea’s ambassador to Singapore ‘sacked’

South Korea’s ambassador to Singapore Lee Sang Deok has abruptly returned to Seoul, reportedly dismissed from his post for his leading role in a controversial 2015 settlement of the “comfort women” issue with Japan. A check by The Straits Times on the South Korean embassy’s website showed that the “ambassador’s greetings” page, which usually contains a message from the top diplomat, is under maintenance. Confirming Mr Lee’s departure, South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mofa) yesterday said he was asked to return permanently to Seoul on Monday, with no further duties assigned to him, The Korea Times reported. Mr Lee had been due to serve until April 2019. Mofa did not disclose the reason behind his sudden exit.


Newsline: Russian diplomat warns ‘apocalyptic scenario’ on Korean Peninsula possible

An apocalyptic scenario of developments on the Korean Peninsula is possible, but Russia hopes that a common sense would prevail among the involved parties, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said on Monday. “A scenario of the apocalyptic development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula exists and we cannot turn our blind eye to it,” Morgulov said speaking at the opening of the eighth annual Asian Conference of the Valdai discussion club in Seoul. “I hope that a common sense, pragmatism and an instinct of self-preservation would prevail among our partners to exclude such negative scenario,” the Russian diplomat said.


Newsline: Mexican diplomat accused of sex crime in South Korea

A Seoul-based Mexican diplomat accused of sexually assaulting a local employee is currently in Seoul and plans to cooperate with the local police agency’s investigation, the Mexican Embassy in South Korea said Monday. A prior police probe indicated that the military attache sexually harassed a female employee at the Mexican Embassy on three occasions between June last year and January. He previously defied two police orders to show up for questioning and returned to his country. “The Embassy of Mexico in the Republic of Korea has been informed of the complaint filed against a member of its Military Attache Office for alleged harassment towards an employee of that office,” the embassy said in a brief press release. “The involved officer is in Korea with the willingness to cooperate with the local authorities towards the resolution of the case,” it said. “Mexican authorities will monitor the situation closely in coordination with their Korean counterparts.”


Newsline: US Embassy in South Korea promotes LGBT right

A rainbow banner hung on the facade of the US Embassy building in downtown Seoul on Thursday, in an apparent show of its support for the upcoming parade of gender and sexual minorities. According to the US Embassy, the banner, whose multicolor stripes symbolize the LGBT pride and their social movements, is to “support and participate in this year’s Queer Culture Festival” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, or LGBTI. From Friday to Saturday, the colorful parade is to take route through the city starting at Seoul City Hall as the country’s annual Queer Culture Festival invites all participants in favor of same-sex marriage. The event is following the court’s rejection to approve a prominent gay film director and his partner of legal status for their same-sex marriage.