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Lawmaker: U.S. Ambassador Went Too Far

Posted December. 16, 2005 08:34,   


In a KBS radio program appearance on Thursday, Kim Won-gi, the speaker of the National Assembly, said, “It is regrettable that Alexander Vershbow, the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, has gone too far.” The U.S. ambassador recently called North Korea a criminal regime.

This direct expression of regret over the remarks of the U.S. ambassador by Kim and the response of the U.S. ambassador are expected to have a profound impact on the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

But Kim made his position clear on the call for the deportation of the U.S. Ambassador as earlier suggested by Uri Party lawmaker Kim Won-woong, saying, “The resolution requires consultation between the two major parties. The ambassador might have been expressing his personal opinion. But deportation is not being considered yet.”

Sankei Shinbun, a Japanese daily, reported Thursday that the South Korean embassy in Washington delivered a government message to Joseph E. Ditrani, the U.S. State department special envoy on North Korean affairs, saying that characterizing the North as a criminal regime would not help make progress in the six-party talks.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government confirmed that there is no change in its support for the South’s aid to the North, that the ambassador’s remarks did not reflect the U.S. government’s policy, and that they were his personal opinion.

On December 14, the U.S. State Department issued an announcement to the contrary, however, saying, “The ambassador’s remarks about North Korea reflect U.S. policy.”

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