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[단독] ‘Lee Jae-myung’s special advisor’ Kim Hyeon-jong, chain contacts of high-ranking US officials… Discussion on ‘Practical Diplomacy and Nuclear Submarine’

Kim Hyun-jong, former second deputy chief of the National Security Office of the Blue House, enters the briefing room at the Blue House Spring and Autumn Hall in October last year. Former 2nd Vice-Chairman Kim is serving as the special head of international trade for the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung. Hankook Ilbo file photo

It was confirmed on the 6th that Lee Jae-myung, former deputy chief of the National Security Office of the Blue House, and former deputy chief of the National Security Office of the Blue House, Kim Hyeon-jong, head of the special task force for international trade for the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, had been in serial contact with high-ranking officials in the US administration and politics. Director Kim focused on Lee’s foreign and security policies and values ​​as a ‘special head’, and it is known that he discussed sensitive issues such as ‘nuclear-powered submarines’ in particular.

Kim Hyun-jong, who met ‘Asian Tsar’ “Lee emphasizes the ROK-U.S. alliance”

According to the passport, Kim had an exclusive meeting with Kurt Campbell, the National Security Council (NSC) Indo-Pacific Coordinator, at the White House in Washington on the 2nd (local time). The Indo-Pacific Coordinator is in charge of the US administration’s policy toward Asia, including issues on the Korean Peninsula, and is so influential that it is called the ‘Asian Tsar’. The two talked for nearly an hour, and no separate interpreter was present. This is an indication that a dense discussion took place rather than a formal meeting.

It is unusual for a presidential campaign official to personally interview a key member of the White House. In other words, it can be interpreted to mean that the Joe Biden administration is also very interested in the outcome of the Korean presidential election and the next government. The background of the meeting is also attributed to the background of the meeting as Kim served in important positions such as the head of the trade negotiations at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the second deputy director of the Blue House National Security Office.

Director Kim is said to have explained in detail Lee’s concept of ‘practical diplomacy’ to Coordinator Campbell. Candidate Lee has repeatedly mentioned that he will “maintain a line of pragmatic diplomacy centered on the national interest that goes beyond the logic of ideology and choice.” It is predicted that they also exchanged opinions on Lee’s strategy toward North Korea.

A key passport official said, “Chairman Kim has repeatedly emphasized that candidate Lee values ​​the Korea-U.S. alliance and puts an emphasis on strengthening the alliance.” Candidate Lee said at a conference invited by the Foreign Correspondents Club on the 25th of last month, “The solid development of the ROK-U.S. alliance and the promotion of strategic cooperative relations between Korea and China are the foundations of practical diplomacy.”

Kim discusses ‘nuclear sleep’ with US lawmakers

Lee Jae-myung (left), the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Korea, gives a greeting at the Foreign Correspondents Club invitation conference held at the Korea Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 25th of last month. Hankook Ilbo file photo

It was confirmed that Kim also met with Republican senators Rob Portman and Johnny Ernst while there. Both members of the House of Representatives are people with whom Kim has sympathized while serving as the head of the trade negotiation headquarters. He is said to have brought up the topic of nuclear sleep at this meeting. Specific details of the discussion were not communicated. However, considering that the Moon Jae-in government has been working behind the scenes for years to introduce nuclear submarines, it is presumed that there was a reference to it. In the early days of the current government, the navy is known to have secretly formed a closed task force (TF) necessary to develop nuclear submarines. In 2018, at the request of the military authorities, private organizations studied the feasibility of introducing nuclear submarines several times.

General Kim was a key player in the signing of an agreement on the termination of the Korea-US missile guidelines in May of this year, and it is reported that he has consistently persuaded the United States to obtain nuclear fuel in addition to the issue of the missile guidelines, but was informed that it was not possible at the time of his visit to the US in October of last year.

Candidate Lee welcomes Kim’s wide-ranging diplomacy. On the 10th of last month, when Korea was experiencing the urea water crisis, Kim contacted a Saudi Arabian company as a special manager and received a promise to ‘supply 2,000 tons of urea in early December’. It is said that the personal network of Director Kim played a big role in the successful transaction. When General Manager Kim disclosed the facts on Facebook, Candidate Lee said, “You worked hard. It will be of great help in resolving the shortage of elements. In addition to securing supplies, it is very meaningful to pave the way to diversify import sources.”

Shin Eun-byeol reporter

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