The Korea Herald


Korean-American GOP members vow to play bridging role between Korea, Trump

By 최희석

Published : May 22, 2016 - 09:59

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is expected to refine his foreign policy now that he's clinched the nomination, a senior Korean-American Republican Party official said.

Michelle Park Steel, vice chair of California's Orange County Board of Supervisors, made the remark, vowing to play a bridging role between her native South Korea and Trump amid concerns about the negative effects a Trump presidency could have on the alliance between the two countries.

Steel, the first Korean-American to be on the board of Orange County supervisors, said that Trump's meeting on Wednesday with Henry Kissinger, one of the most renowned U.S. diplomats, shows that he's refining his foreign policy.

"I think the meeting with Kissinger is aimed at putting together fresh foreign policy and taking a broader look at the picture," she said during a meeting Friday with Korean correspondents at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington.

"I will play the role of a bridge between Trump and South Korea," she said.

Trump has unnerved foreign countries, especially such allies as Korea and Japan, as he has displayed deeply negative views of U.S. security commitments overseas, contending the U.S. should stop being the policeman of the world.

The real-estate tycoon has said that the U.S. should be prepared to end the protection of allies unless they pay more. He even suggested allowing Korea and Japan to develop their own nuclear weapons for self-defense so as to reduce U.S. security burdens.

Trump's top foreign policy adviser, Walid Phares, said in a recent interview with Yonhap News Agency that Trump's remarks made as a candidate should be taken as an expression of principles, rather than policy, meaning that such extreme scenarios as troop pullouts are only brought up for negotiation purposes.

Steel said that Trump has a knack for drawing people like an entertainer.

"I think that he did a good job in drawing attention so far, which earned himself the party's presidential nomination," she said.

RNC Asian and Pacific Islander Communications Director Jason Chung said that Korean-American and other Asian-American Republican officials have been holding a series of meetings to discuss how they will deal with the presidential and other elections. (Yonhap)