NATIONAL

Ahn accuses Moon of incompetence over Trump’s itinerary

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : Oct 18, 2017 - 17:12
  • Updated : Oct 18, 2017 - 17:12
Ahn Cheol-soo, chairman of the minor centrist People’s Party, on Wednesday accused President Moon Jae-in and his office of incompetence and missing the beat in Seoul-Washington relations.

Speaking at a party meeting on Wednesday, Ahn said US President Donald Trump’s Asian tour itinerary reflects South Korea’s lack of status.

People`s Party chief Ahn Cheol-soo speaks at a party meeting in Seoul on Wednesday. Yonhap

“(Trump) stays in Japan for three days, but his stay in South Korea, the country directly involved in Korean Peninsula issues that are an urgent global issue, is short,” Ahn said. Trump is set to begin his tour of five Asian nations – South Korea, China, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines – early next month. The tour begins in Japan with the US president staying for three days from Nov. 5 to Nov. 7, and Trump will come to Seoul on Nov. 7, and leave the following day.

Ahn added that the development was “upsetting” and said that the schedule reflects the status South Korea has, saying that the country had “lost face.”

“Is a two-day state visit something that happens in a dignified country? Many negative side effects are expected in many areas,” Ahn said.

Saying announcements from Cheong Wa Dae and the White House regarding Trump’s National Assembly address differed, Ahn went on to accuse the South Korean president of incompetence.

“Please become competent. (I) only wish (for the president) to (serve his role) properly for the pride of our people.”

According to Ahn, Cheong Wa Dae stated that Trump is expected to talk about his Northeast Asia policies, and to talk of strengthening the South Korea-US alliance, while the White House statement read that the address will be about “maximum pressure on North Korea.”

The statement from the White House press secretary, however, says that Trump’s address will touch on both subjects.

“The president will speak at the National Assembly, where he will celebrate the enduring alliance and friendship between the United States and the Republic of Korea, and call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea,” the White House statement reads.

While Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun’s statement regarding the address mentions Trump’s foreign policies, he also mentioned that the US president is expected to speak about the “response to the North Korean nuclear issue.”

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