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Pence declines interview requests from Moon and Ahn

Posted April. 19, 2017 07:18,   

Updated April. 19, 2017 07:25


It is reported that U.S. Vice President Mike Pence politely declined interview requests from both presidential candidates, Moon Jae-in of the Minjoo Party and Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party, during his visit to Korea. However, the candidates denied such argument by saying that the report is different from the truth.

A Washington source told on Tuesday that the two South Korean presidential candidates asked to meet the vice president via different routes but Mr. Pence didn't want to give a wrong impression to endorse a certain candidate as the presidential election is fast approaching. A U.S. government official met with the White House press corps during the vice president’s visit to Seoul and confirmed that Moon and Ahn requested interviews. The official indicated that the vice president declined to meet them by saying, “We believe that we can work with the president elect regardless of who would be the next president of South Korea.”

Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, also confirmed that Mr. Pence did not meet them at a conference call with reporters and said, “We do see that both of the leading candidates in the current race appear to be very supportive of the US-Republic of Korea alliance and have clearly articulated the priority that they place on the security of the ROK.” After his three-day visit to Korea, the U.S. vice president headed to Japan.

However, Moon Jae-in’s election camp official denied the argument by saying, “The statement is different from the truth. We did not ask the vice president to meet Mr. Moon.” Ahn’s camp also explained, “There is no possibility for us to ask for an interview.”

Seung-Heon Lee ddr@donga.com · Hyung-Jun Hwang constant25@donga.com