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7 meetings between President Park and UN Secretary General

7 meetings between President Park and UN Secretary General

Posted September. 30, 2015 07:31,   


South Korean President Park Geun-hye met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon seven times in total during her short visit to U.N. of three days and four nights. Secretary General Ban invited President Park to his residence and had a dinner on her arrival date to New York. At the special event to promote ‘Saemaul movement’ with high-ranking officials, Ban introduced his own experiences and fully supported President Park’s ‘Saemaul diplomacy.’ It was an unprecedented move to break the custom where U.N. Secretary General rarely attends a side events hosted by U.N.

Against such backdrops, political circles call this ‘Ban-Park alliance.’ During this U.N. General Assembly, 160 participants including heads of nations around the world and high ranking officials waged a diplomatic war. At the U.S.-China summit meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent the first public warning message to North Korea, by saying, “China opposes any behavior that violates resolutions by the U.N. Security Council.” President Park announced that South Korea would provide active support if North Korea abandons its nuclear program and comes to the way for opening and cooperation in her opening speech at the U.N. General Assembly. President Park frequently met with Ban while she was on a busy schedule for multi-lateral diplomacy to ask for cooperation from the international community to deter North Korea’s nuclear program.

Ban has never clearly said that he would not run for the presidential election. In a recent poll to ask preferences over next presidential candidates, Ban came in first place with 21.1 percent, followed by Saenuri chairman Kim Moo-sung (14.1 percent) and New Politics Alliance for Democracy chairman Moon Jae-in (11.2 percent). It is not far-stretched to connect the pro-Park faction in the ruling party, which has no strong candidate, with Ban while looking at frequent meetings between Park and Ban.

Some politicians said that Ban’s attendance to the Chinese military parade where President Park attended was to pave the way for domestic politics. U.N. Secretary General Ban must do his best to fulfill his duties as the head of the international organization rather than paying attention to the domestic politics during the rest of his term in office.

President Park did not invite local lawmakers when she visited Daegu on Sept. 7, which was interpreted as an indirect signal that she started replacement for the next general election. President Park’s meeting with Ban doesn’t seem solely for diplomatic purposes, when considering domestic political situation. President Park must not send confusing signals or neglect security and diplomacy while she is busy minding domestic politics.