South Korean President Moon Jae-in has sent his congratulations to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris via social media.
Moon said he looks forward to working with them to advance the Seoul-Washington alliance.
Kim Min-ji reports. President Moon Jae-in on Sunday congratulated U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, expressing hope to further develop the strong Seoul-Washington alliance.
In a tweet, Moon said he hopes to work with the Biden administration for shared values and has great expectations for the future development of bilateral relations.
Moon’s message came about eight hours after Biden claimed victory.
The fact that Moon’s message came via Twitter and not an official diplomatic channel is likely in consideration of President Donald Trump who is taking legal action and is yet to accept defeat.
Moon will likely send an official letter or speak on the phone with the president-elect after the election situation clears up in the U.S.
In the meantime, the Moon administration will have to look again at its strategies to get the peace process going again on the Korean Peninsula after a change in U.S. government.
Biden is expected to pursue a more cautious and systematic approach and opt for a so-called bottom-up strategy requiring a specific roadmap for denuclearization at the working-level before there’s any personal diplomacy.
That could put the brakes on President Moon’s ambitions, as he preferred a top-down approach and given the fact that he has just a year and a half left in office.
Although Moon and Biden share the common goal of denuclearization, they may have some readjusting to do in terms of approach and time frame.
At this point, however, it will be difficult to openly step up communication with the Biden camp especially with diplomatic agendas lined up already with the current administration, including Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha’s trip to Washington and possibly a visit by U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien to Seoul later this month.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.

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