South Korea expressed concern over “undiplomatic” remarks made by the top U.S. military officer here regarding possible delays in the relocation of U.S. military bases, a Foreign Ministry official said yesterday. [link]
Background here. The Foreign Ministry would also like you to know that this is not an “official” warning; it’s really just the diplomatic equivalent of a fix-it ticket. No fine, no court appearance. Guess that “I support the alliance” bumper sticker paid off after all.
“The comment (made by Gen. Bell) could produce unnecessary misunderstandings, so we delivered an indirect message asking him to be cautious about making comments,” the ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
Maybe someone should ask the Chosun Ilbo to ask the South Korean government to clarify some of these statements. Collectively, they’ve caused me to labor under the unnecessary misunderstanding that smarmy Korean cabinet ministers demagogue their people with mendacious cheap shots at their country’s primary benefactor. Personally, I think the best way for South Korea to avoid misunderstandings would be to abide by its agreements instead of doing its North Korea act by reneging on them in the press. If ever there was a time for someone to really tell the MOFAT to self-copulate, this is that time. As I explained here, I’m actually starting to think that we draw this sort of abuse and the anti-Americanism to which it contributes because we’ve been much too obsequious with South Korea.
This, folks, is as quiet as the quiet diplomacy gets when South Korea has differences with the United States. In unrelated news, we still have complete media silence on the Foreign Ministry’s “protest” against China’s repatriation of these nine family members of its Korean War POW’s. After all, it would be counterproductive to allow some unguarded speech that could offend China, given all that China does to contribute to South Korea’s security and prosperity.