Park Plows Ahead with Foreign Policy Business

  • By Jung Nok-yong

    November 11, 2016 09:38

    President Park Geun-hye seems to have been emboldened by the election of tarnished outsider Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency to show she is still at the helm despite a massive corruption scandal.

    Cheong Wa Dae officials and pro-Park lawmakers in the ruling Saenuri Party, who had been keeping a low profile since the scandal came to light, are starting to fight back against growing calls for Park’s resignation over the scandal.

    Park has resumed her foreign affairs and security duties, scheduling an urgent call to Trump just a day after his shock election win.

    She moved faster than her predecessors, who took two or three days to congratulate new U.S. presidents on their victories.

    President Park Geun-hye (left) walks with her Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev during a welcoming ceremony at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Thursday. /Yonhap

    The call was spurred by fears that Trump could abandon the alliance with Korea, but Park also perhaps felt emboldened because the real estate tycoon has a thick hide and has swatted away a multiplicity of scandals, from tax dodging to serial molestation.

    On Wednesday, Park was briefed by the National Security Council on its assessment of the U.S. presidential election, and sent a congratulatory message to Trump.

    Also on Thursday, Park met with her Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev, a widely shunned autocrat. The two adopted a joint statement on deepening their strategic partnership ahead of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries next year.

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