August 05, 2022 08:33
President Yoon Suk-yeol only spoke with visiting U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the phone for around 40 minutes on Thursday rather than interrupting his summer break to meet her in person.
Yoon is the only Asian leader during Pelosi's four-nation tour not to meet her personally and has been accused of avoiding her to placate China.
The presidential office here said the two discussed the importance of their alliance and North Korean issues. Pelosi's visit to the demilitarized zone "will signal a strong South Korea-U.S. joint deterrence against North Korea," Yoon was quoted as saying.
Pelosi reportedly mentioned the need for both countries to uphold the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region.
The presidential office denied any connection between Yoon's refusal to meet Pelosi in person and considerations of China, adding his summer holiday had been planned long in advance. He is reportedly vacationing at home in Seoul.
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