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Possibility of replacing national security advisor reportedly reviewed

Possibility of replacing national security advisor reportedly reviewed

Posted March. 29, 2023 08:14,   

Updated March. 29, 2023 08:14


South Korea's Presidential Office is reportedly considering replacing its National Security Advisor Kim Sung-han, who has been overseeing the policies of foreign affairs and national security for the Yoon Suk Yeol Administration. The news draws much attention as it is only a month away from the president’s summit meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden. Following Chief of Protocol Kim Il-bum, President Yoon replaced his secretary Lee Moon-hee, who managed working-level issues on foreign and national security. Yoon is purportedly considering reshuffling his foreign policy and defense aides lineup ore the U.S.-ROK summit meeting in April.

The source from the Presidential Office noted that President Yoon has felt the need to revamp his squad for foreign policy and national security while the plan for his state visit to the U.S. was being coordinated and added that replacing Advisor Kim was considered a possible option, which indicates that it might have been a result of a series of controversies triggered after Yoon's visit to Japan. One high-ranking official from the ruling party also noted that the President is mulling over replacing Kim, essentially in reproof. One high-ranking official from the Presidential Office said, however, that they are reviewing a range of possibilities. Many from the Presidential Office and the ruling party analyze that some critical issues must have risen arisen coordinating plans for President Yoon’s state visit to the U.S.

Kim said that the news of his resignation is unfounded and that, though always ready to leave his office when told as a political appointee, he is curious about where such groundless news keeps coming from.

The ruling party source said on the news of Kim's possible reshuffle that a planning issue had reportedly emerged over a special event the U.S. has suggested for the summit meeting, which could have prompted President Yoon to overhaul his team. The Presidential Office is allegedly reviewing the possibility of further reshuffle over foreign policy and national security aides and even over the whole presidential aides lineup, including the defense team. Some forecast that there may be a sweeping reshuffle before or after Yoon's state visit to the U.S. scheduled late next month over the whole presidential team on foreign affairs and national security.

It may not be so ill-founded to believe that some major issues arose that can hamper summit diplomacy as President Yoon's Chief of Protocol resigned on March 16 right before the ROK-Japan summit meeting, his Secretary for Foreign Affairs is replaced immediately after and now the possibility of replacing the National Security Advisor who supervises the whole team is being reviewed.

The ruling party official said that the Foreign Ministry and most of the foreign policy and national security team could have been to blame already when the Chief of Protocol left his office. The official continued that some major schedules have been missed out several times at the planning stage by manager-level aides, and President Yoon was reportedly disappointed deeply after he found out. The high-ranking source from the Presidential Office, however, spared comments saying that any final decision is yet to be made. Some reckon that the possible reshuffle results from rebuking accumulated blunders and mishaps relating to key diplomatic issues, including flubbed response to North Korea's unmanned drone.

President Yoon's long-time friend of 50 years who went to the same elementary school, Advisor Kim was once dubbed Yoon's "tutor" on foreign and national security policies. Kim served as vice foreign and trade minister in charge of multilateral diplomacy under the Lee Myung-bak administration.