Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for South Korea

Newsline: Trump finally has an ambassador to South Korea

President Donald Trump finally has an ambassador to South Korea, as the Senate confirmed retired Navy Adm. Harry Harris by a voice vote Thursday, filling a key diplomatic post that had remained vacant since the current administration took office. Harris, the former commander of US Pacific Command, had been tapped as ambassador to Australia until Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested to the President that Harris be nominated to fill the open post in Seoul ahead of the June 12 summit between Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, sources told CNN at the time. Now Harris faces the challenge of helping Pompeo facilitate the next step in talks with Pyongyang — which, despite Trump’s claim to the contrary, remains a nuclear threat, according to the secretary of state’s testimony on Capitol Hill this week. During his confirmation hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month, Harris also said North Korea continues to be a nuclear threat and advocated that major military exercises be paused to give Kim a chance to prove whether he is “serious,” a recommendation Trump ultimately took to heart.



Newsline: Two South Korean media staff arrested at North Korean ambassador’s home in Singapore

Two South Korean media staff have been arrested for trespassing at the home of the North Korean ambassador to Singapore, police said on Friday, just days before a high-stakes summit between the U.S. and North Korean leaders in the city-state. Police said the men arrested were from the Korean Broadcasting System News (KBS News), while a third man from the broadcaster and a fourth who was acting as a guide and interpreter were also under investigation. “Two South Korean men, aged 42 and 45, who were representing the Korean Broadcasting System News (KBS), were arrested,” police said in a Facebook post. KBS said in an emailed statement it was ready to take any action Singapore authorities deemed necessary.


Newsline: Car crashes into US Embassy gates in South Korea’s capital

A car crashed into the gate of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. South Korean police told ABC News the driver was not drunk but declined to share further details about the incident. The investigation is ongoing. South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that the driver is a 48-year-old man who allegedly told police he drove into the U.S. Embassy gate because he has “stories related to North Korea” and wants to “seek asylum in the United States.”


Newsline: Colombia’s general allegedly linked to war crimes became ambassador to Seoul

South Korean President Moon Jae-in received the credentials of six new foreign ambassadors. Among them was the new Colombian ambassador to South Korea, Juan Pablo Rodríguez Barragán. Rodríguez isn’t a career diplomat, but he has a lengthy resume. He had 41 years of active military service, eventually becoming commander of the Colombian Military Forces until he resigned in 2017. But what really makes him stand out is another detail: He faces allegations of participating in war crimes and supporting cyberespionage against human-rights activists. Rodríguez stepped down as commander of the Colombian Military Forces in 2017, just three years after he had taken the position. The move was unexpected: According to a report from McClatchy, it came shortly after the U.S. government began reviewing his visa rights. Neither the South Korean nor Colombian embassies in Washington responded to inquiries about Rodríguez from The Washington Post.


Newsline: South Korean embassy due to reopen in Libya

South Korea will reopen its embassy in Tripoli very soon, the Asian country’s Chargé d’affaires announced. This came during a meeting with the Chief of the General Directorate of Diplomatic Security, Colonel Wissam bin Jamea, according to the Information Office of the Ministry of Interior. South Korea submitted a proposal to hold protection and bodyguard training for the Diplomatic Police personnel in Seoul.


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.