Seoul government rebuffs former security adviser’s book
Former national security adviser John Bolton’s new book on his time in the White House is making great ripple effects not only in Washington but also in Seoul. And the responses seem to be mostly negative here.
South Korea’s National Security Office Director Chung Eui-yong, the country’s counterpart of Bolton, claimed Monday that the former U.S. top aide’s memoir violates diplomatic protocols and distorts reality.
“Unilaterally disclosing discussions based on mutual trust between governments is in violation of the basic principles of diplomacy,” Chung said in a statement through a presidential spokesman.
“In his book, Bolton regards the summit between U.S. and the two Koreas from his personal point of view, which is not correct,” he added. “Such inappropriate work is feared to severely harm efforts to strengthen the alliance between Seoul and Washington.”
Chung did not elaborate on which parts of Bolton’s expose are distorted, but he appears to take issue with Bolton’s claim that the first U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore in 2018 was the brainchild of Chung.
Back then, Chung delivered a meeting invitation for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to U.S. President Donald Trump, who accepted it to take part in the historical meeting together with Bolton.
Bolton contended that South Korea promoted the summit as a part of its unification agenda rather than to achieve the encounter’s official goal of the nuclear disarmament of belligerent North Korea.
From April 2018 until September 2019, Bolton served as national security adviser to Trump. Later, he announced a deal for a book discussing his time in the Trump administration, which is titled “The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir.”
Also causing controversies here is Bolton’s description of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s stance on North Korea as “schizophrenic.” He used the expression while denouncing Moon’s strategy of of North Korea’s denuclearization.
In response, a presidential house official in Seoul told media that “Bolton might be schizophrenic.”
Bolton’s comments also angered many South Korean internet users, who said that Bolton should apologize to President Moon for the “improper expression.”
UPI News Korea provides this article. _ ED.