NATIONAL

Special envoys are first step in normalizing summit diplomacy: Moon

By Korea Herald
  • Published : May 16, 2017 - 15:43
  • Updated : May 16, 2017 - 18:13

President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday met with his special envoys and emphasized the need to normalize diplomatic affairs.

“The new government inherited grave diplomatic and security circumstances, and summit diplomacy has been put on hold for more than six months. Sending the special envoys is the beginning of summit diplomacy,” Moon was quoted as saying by Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun following the president’s meeting with the envoys.

President Moon Jae-in heads for a lunch meeting with his special envoys at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul, Tuesday. From left are Song Young-gil, special envoy to Russia; Moon Hee-sang, envoy to Japan; President Moon; Lee Hae-chan, envoy to China; and Hong Seok-hyun, envoy to the US. (Yonhap)

Park said that Moon also told the special envoys that Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to meet with his envoys in person, and that Seoul and Washington are in the process of arranging a summit meeting.

Moon also called on his envoys to inform the leaders of the countries about Korea’s political situation.

“Emphasize the fact that the new administration was created through ‘people power,’ and stress that political transparency has become very important (in Korea),” Park quoted Moon as saying.

The special envoys were named Monday and will be dispatched to China, Europe, Japan, Russia and the US, after Seoul works out the schedule with these countries.

The delegation to Washington will be headed by former Chairman of JoongAng Media Network Hong Seok-hyun. Rep. Lee Hae-chan of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea will be sent to China, while Rep. Moon Hee-sang is to be the special envoy to Tokyo. For the post of special envoy to Russia, Moon chose the ruling party’s Rep. Song Young-gil, while Sogang University economist Cho Yoon-jae will take on the role of special envoy to Europe.

Moon also named Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, archbishop of Gwangju and chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, as his special envoy to the Vatican.

At Tuesday’s meeting Lee said that the Chinese ambassador to Korea had informed him of Beijing’s desire to arrange a summit meeting. He added that China positively assessed the telephone conversation between Moon and Xi Jinping and that he would try to contribute to improving Seoul-Beijing relations as a special envoy.

Hong said that he would build on the communication between Moon and US President Donald Trump to discuss security issues including the Korea-US alliance and North Korea’s nuclear program.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)