South Korean leader snubs Pelosi South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol

SEOUL. – South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s “unfortunate” absence from a meeting with visiting Speaker of US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi is seen by Chinese experts as a way to avoid embarrassment, as Pelosi’s recent visit to the island of Taiwan has irritated China and caused tensions in the region.

It may have dawned on the South Korean leader that whoever plays high-profile host to Pelosi at this sensitive moment could risk provoking China, experts said.

Pelosi met South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo and other senior members of parliament on Thursday. Pelosi and her delegation later spoke by phone with Yoon on the two countries’ alliance, foreign policy and other issues. Yoon is on vacation this week, while South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin headed to Cambodia on Wednesday to attend a series of ASEAN meetings. 

Yoon, who is believed to be at home in Seoul, was at a theatre and then had dinner with some actors on Wednesday night when Pelosi arrived, the Financial Times reported. 

Pelosi and her parliamentary delegation arrived in South Korea on Wednesday night after making a stop on the island of Taiwan, an unconfirmed destination on her Asian tour, which has provoked strong opposition and condemnation from China and the international community.  ‑ Global Times

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