Controversy spread over President Yoon Seok-yeol’s cancellation of the condolence for the British Queen despite repeated explanations from the president’s office.

▲ President Yoon Seok-yeol and First Lady Kim Kun-hee leave a hotel in London to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19. ⓒ Yonhap News

Many questions arise as to why President Yoon Seok-yeol was unable to go and pay his respects to Queen Elizabeth II of England.

There are questions like ‘shouldn’t we have started earlier?’, ‘were you not aware of the possibility that this could happen beforehand?’

According to explanations from the presidential office and the vice minister of foreign affairs, President Yun Seok-yeol departed at 9 am on the 18th and arrived at the site at 3:30 pm. In a briefing on the afternoon of the 19th, President Kim Eun-hye, senior head of public relations, said, “It would have been better if the plane arrived earlier as we adjusted the schedule, but due to the unavoidable circumstances, the summit, who arrived early yesterday afternoon, can sympathize.” Due to various complicated circumstances, the writing of the ‘Jomunrok’ was led to today for those who arrived after yesterday early afternoon, that is, at 2 or 3 pm,” he said. It is explained that President Yoon, who arrived at 3:30, was instructed to write a condolence log instead of a condolence.

The question arises whether we should have arrived at the site earlier. In a briefing on the evening of the 19th (London local time), an official from the presidential office answered a reporter’s question about how he would view the talk of ‘He shouldn’t have left a little earlier’ in Korea related to the controversy sympathy , “Of course (that kind of thing) cannot be said. ” He left at 9 in the morning. You can leave at 7am or early in the morning. (But) it was coordinated after adequate consultation with the royal family. The official said, “From the royal family’s point of view, if everyone comes early, that would also be a disappointment.”

▲President Seok-Yeol Yoon holds a meeting on the plane while traveling to the UK on the 18th.  photo = president's office
▲President Seok-Yeol Yoon holds a meeting on the plane while traveling to the UK on the 18th. photo = president’s office

The officer said, “How can you be late with common sense and say it was a protocol error?” “That’s not true. The royal family discussed with different countries and coordinated the schedule.

“I believe you mentioned the possibility of not being able to sympathize on the plane even before leaving Korea, but did you realize that it could be delayed depending on the circumstances from the time of departure to the time of arrival?” he said. for us in that way.” He said, “We have adjusted the schedule like that, but we don’t know how the situation will change or how the local conditions will change, so we asked for your understanding and asked for understanding. That understanding was communicated from the start.”

Regarding when such an understanding was reached, the officer said, “We had a pre-inspection meeting the day before, and such a conversation was held back then.” He also came out of the meeting.

The same question continued in the government question at the full meeting of the National Assembly on the 20th. Prime Minister Han Deok-soo replied, “I believe we have discussed such a problem with the British royal family well in advance,” said Kim Byeong-joo, a member of the Democratic Party of Korea who asked, “If we had leave. an hour or two earlier, then why didn’t we anticipate such a problem in advance?” .

Prime Minister Han said, ‘French President Macron did it on foot, and the Japanese king’s condolences after the reception.’ he said.

Representative Kim Eui-gyeom said, “I left for Seoul Airport at 9 o’clock, but I was escorted early on Sunday morning and it only takes 10 minutes to go from the official residence of Acro Vista to Seoul Airport. Can you accept that good is dal Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong said, “The flight schedule for the summit to arrive in London was not a situation where he wanted to go an hour earlier. I understand it has been modified.” Rep. Kim criticized, “The incompetence of our Foreign Affairs Ministry that it didn’t even take that into consideration.”

▲ Kim Eui-gyeom, a member of the Democratic Party of Korea, asking a question to Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyeon-dong on the afternoon of the 20th at the National Assembly, presenting a map of London's city center in relation to the debate over the cancellation of condolence President Yoon Seok-yeol.  Photo = KBS video capture
▲ Kim Eui-gyeom, a member of the Democratic Party of Korea, asking a question to Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyeon-dong on the afternoon of the 20th at the National Assembly, presenting a map of London’s city center in relation to the debate over the cancellation of condolence President Yoon Seok-yeol. Photo = KBS video capture

On the other hand, the question arose as to why he could not even walk, like President Macron of France, when he arrived. Representative Kim Eui-gyeom said, “I went to the Korean War Veterans Memorial and stopped at Westminster (place of worship) and then went to Buckingham (reception). It’s a 16-minute walk, so you could go to worship for 10 minutes as planned, and then walk 20 minutes to get to the reception at 6 o’clock.”

To this, Vice Minister Cho Hyeon-dong replied, “I know that the situation at the site is not a 16-minute walk because the situation at the site is a situation where more peaks reach than we had ‘to discuss and plan it in advance.’

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