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After Taiwan, Pelosi's welcome to Korea is muted
2022-08-08
The presidential office gave U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a muted welcome to Seoul after her highly controversial visit to Taiwan.

Asked whether Pelosi would get a meeting with President Yoon Suk-yeol, a presidential official said Wednesday morning, “At this point there are no plans.”   
 
Yoon is technically on holiday this week, although his plans to go out of Seoul were cancelled Monday because of plummeting approval ratings. So he will be in Seoul during Pelosi's trip, which lasts through Thursday. 

Pelosi and her parliamentary delegation flew into Seoul from Taiwan on Wednesday. Taiwan was an unconfirmed destination on their Indo-Pacific tour, which included Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and Japan.
 
Pelosi stayed there for around 24 hours, arriving late on Tuesday and leaving for Korea Wednesday night.
  
“Regarding Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, the Korean government is in such a position that it will maintain close communication with the relevant parties in the region on various issues,” said the presidential official. "We continue to believe that regional peace and security must be maintained through dialogue and cooperation."
 
Pelosi's trip to Taiwan was the first by a House speaker since Newt Gingrich’s in 1997 and was the highest-ranking U.S. official's visit since. The American parliamentary delegation includes House representatives Gregory Meeks, Mark Takano, Suzan DelBene and Andy Kim.  
 
In response to the delegation's visit to Taiwan, the Chinese government summoned the American ambassador in Beijing and ramped up military activities in the waters near Taiwan on Tuesday.  
 
Pelosi has been vocal about human rights violations in China, unfurling a pro-democracy banner in Tiananmen Square on a visit in 1991.   
 
“Our Congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy," Pelosi said in a statement on Tuesday upon her arrival in Taiwan. 
 
“Our visit is one of several Congressional delegations to Taiwan – and it in no way contradicts longstanding United States policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, U.S.-China Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances," she said. "The United States continues to oppose unilateral efforts to change the status quo.” 

Pelosi met with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President of the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan Tsai Chi-chang in Taipei on Wednesday. 
 
She was scheduled to meet with National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo in Seoul on Thursday, along with floor leaders of the People Power Party and Democratic Party. The meeting will focus on Seoul-Washington cooperation on security, economics and climate change, according to Speaker Kim’s office.  
 
U.S.-China tensions may be felt at a forum taking place in Asia this week, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Cambodia.
 
Top envoys from the United States, China, Japan, Russia and both Koreas were scheduled to attend the forum on Friday, as well as other sideline meetings through the week. 
 
Korea’s Foreign Minister Park Jin was scheduled to attend the ASEAN Plus Three foreign ministerial meeting on Thursday, which is a cooperative group between the ASEAN member states and Korea, Japan and China.
 
Representing North Korea at the ARF will be Ahn Kwang-il, Pyongyang’s ambassador to Indonesia and ASEAN.  
 
There were no plans to schedule a meeting between Ahn and Park, according to Seoul’s Foreign Ministry.
 
“During the ARF, the South Korean delegation is expected to put forward statements criticizing North Korean provocations, including the recently unprecedented level of ballistic missile launches,” a Foreign Ministry official told the press in Seoul last Thursday.  

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