WikiLeaks Cables Embarrass S.Korean Diplomats

      December 01, 2010 10:11

      Classified U.S. diplomatic cables unveiled by WikiLeaks expose potentially embarrassing comments made by named South Korean officials in closed-door meetings with their American counterparts. But a Foreign Ministry official on Tuesday said it would be "inappropriate" to comment on the diplomatic documents of another country.

      The diplomatic cables relay comments made by foreign minister Kim Sung-hwan and chief presidential secretary for foreign affairs and security Chun Young-woo speculating about a sudden collapse of the North Korean regime and China's North Korea policy.

      "Although Kim Jong-il (KJI) remained firmly in control of the regime for now, he was unlikely to live beyond 2015," one quotes Unification Minister Hyun In-taek as saying. Hyun is also quoted as saying that Chinese officials believe unification should be pursued led by South Korea.

      "South Korea's diplomatic activities have been fully exposed," said one diplomatic source. "This is terrible. We anticipate problems in diplomatic efforts with China," said another.

      The Foreign Ministry is worried that other countries could perceive the comments in the leaked cables as reflecting Seoul's official stance, especially since these off-the-cuff remarks were not based on accurate data but reflected the personal opinions of officials.

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