Rival political parties in South Korea on Monday strongly denounced comments by a senior U.S. diplomat on strained Seoul-Tokyo relations as the diplomat dismissed the position of victimized states during World War II.
U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said at a seminar in Washington Friday that it would not be hard for “a political leader anywhere to earn cheap applause by vilifying a former enemy, ” apparently referring to relations between China, South Korea and Japan. “But such provocations produce paralysis, not progress,” she said.
Rep. Kim Eul-dong of the ruling Saenuri Party said during a party meeting that Sherman’s comments on history issues, which caused conflicts between South Korea, China and Japan, raised controversy as the diplomat said the issues should be left behind for future relations.
Kim said that if the United States sticks to a stance of turning a blind eye to victim states, its status as the world’s police state will not last long, noting that the diplomat’s comments poured cold water on South Korean President Park Geun-hye who called for improved Seoul-Tokyo relations based on Japan’s sincere repentance over its history.
Rep. Jun Byung-hun of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy said during a party meeting that Sherman’s complacent view “is beyond regrettable and truly deplorable,” criticizing the South Korean government for its diplomatic incompetence that brought on such views in the United States. Enditem