BIDEN REAFFIRMS SECURITY COMMITMENT TO KOREA
The government's attempt to reach out to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and his aides needs to be made carefully, according to diplomatic experts, even though such a gesture is not at all improper, according to a report from Korea Times.
Since the former vice president was projected to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House late last week, the administration and politicians have hurried to meet or communicate with those linked to his camp.
In line with the move, President Moon Jae-in had a phone conversation with Biden, and during the 14-minute talks they agreed to work closely together to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue.
"Moon asked Biden to communicate closely for a forward-looking development of the alliance, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of lasting peace," presidential spokesman Kang Min-seok said.
Biden reaffirmed the U.S. security commitment to South Korea and said he would closely cooperate to resolve the North Korea issue, calling South Korea a "linchpin" of security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, according to Kang.
They also agreed to cooperate on other issues such as the fight against COVID-19 and climate change, agreeing to meet at an early date.
Besides Moon, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha also met with Senators Chris Coons and Chris Murphy, close allies to Biden, in Washington, D.C., during her visit to the country.
However, there are some concerns that Seoul's hurried act may upset the Donald Trump administration and the Republican Party, with them still putting forward conspiracy theories regarding the election. The U.S. conservative political party is projected to retain a majority in the Senate for the time being and exert influence on U.S. policy toward North Korea.
"There is nothing wrong with treating Biden as the president-elect and reaching out to him, as foreign leaders like Angela Merkel and others have rightly done," said Daniel Sneider, an international policy expert at Stanford University.
"That is a normal part of the transition process in the U.S. and the fact that Trump refuses to concede should not be a consideration."
Bruce Klingner, a former CIA analyst and senior researcher at the Heritage Foundation, also said South Korea's reaching out to the apparent winner to lay the groundwork for establishing relations with the new administration was "customary."