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Why is Lim Jong-seok visiting UAE?

Posted February. 19, 2020 07:59,   

Updated February. 19, 2020 07:59


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Tuesday that a presidential envoy lead by Lim Jong-seok, former Chief of Staff for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, is visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Tuesday to Thursday. Some say that the UAE visit is Lim’s way to clearly express his refusal to an invitation to join the election preparatory committee of the Democratic Party of Korea.

“An envoy led by former Chief of Staff Lim Jong-seok will meet the leaders of the UAE government and discuss bilateral cooperation measures across politics, diplomacy, economics, and national defense to further strengthen the special strategic partnership as the two countries celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year,” said the Foreign Ministry. The envoy will discuss energy and defense issues, such as the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE and the operation of the South Korean exhibition hall at the 2020 Dubai Expo to be held in October this year.

A diplomatic source said Lim’s joining the envoy was “decided rather suddenly.” Some in the ruling Democratic Party suspect that Lim may have decided to visit the UAE as a way to avoid joining the party’s election preparatory committee.

Na-Ri Shin journari@donga.com · Hyung-Jun Hwang constant25@donga.com