Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Dispatching S. Korean troops to Afganistan made it on South Korea-U.S. summit‘s agenda LFP spokesperson reconfirms the fact after Cheong Wa Dae denies the exchange
Posted on : Jun.22,2009 12:42 KST
It was confirmed belatedly Sunday South Korea President Lee Myung-bak and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the dispatch of South Korean troops to Afghanistan during the summit held in Washington. However, the contents of the discussion have not yet been confirmed.
According to Park Sun-young, the spokesperson of opposition Liberty Forward Party (LFP), President Lee Myung-bak reported to LFP Chairperson Lee Hoi-chang and ruling Grand National Party Chairperson Park Hee-tae that US President Barack Obama had requested that South Korea voluntarily send troops to Afghanistan. Park said that Lee had responded by saying he would consider sending troops as part of a peacekeeping force.
As Park’s comments have generated controversy, a core official in the Cheong Wa Dae (the presidential office in South Korea or Blue House) denied the exchange and said, “Obama had said given South Korea’s current political situation, it was not appropriate to ask South Korea to send troops, although it would be nice if South Korea decided to send troops on its own accord.” The official also added that Lee responded by saying he thought South Korea could expand its peace and reconstruction project efforts.
The same official added his own interpretation of the exchange by saying, “The U.S. president did not make an official request for troops, and Chairperson Lee Hoi-chang misunderstood increasing peace projects efforts with supplying a peacekeeing force.”
Following the Cheong Wa Dae’s denial, Park insisted that her briefing was correct. In a telephone interview with the Hankyoreh Park said, “I issued the briefing based on a memo made by Chairperson Lee Hoi-chang, and since the Cheong Wa Dae’s response, I have asked chairperson Lee to reconfirm the facts of what I said.”
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