South Korea's presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae
South Korea's presidential office has dismissed the contents of a new memoir by former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, saying a significant part of the book related to summit diplomacy between Seoul, Washington and Pyongyang is "distorted.”
Ron Chang reports.
In "The Room Where It Happened," Bolton claimed Chung Eui-yong, the director of Cheong Wa Dae's National Security Office, proposed the idea of holding the first U.S.-North Korea summit in 2018, not leader Kim Jong-un.
Bolton also asserted that U.S. President Donald Trump turned down a request by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to accompany him to a meeting with the North Korean leader at truce village of Panmunjom in June of last year.
Rejecting the claims, Chung said Bolton's accounts of what was discussed between the leaders of the two Koreas and the U.S. are not based on "accurate facts."
That stance was echoed by Harry Kazianis, senior director of Korean studies at the U.S.-based Center for the National Interest.
[Clip: Kazianis: 00:00]
"In terms of interpreting Bolton's comments, I mean countless administration officials deny that a lot of those things have transpired in the book and it's just very hard to tell what to separate from the fiction and the truth."
Chung added the unilateral disclosure of consulations between two governments is a violation of diplomatic fundamentals and could seriously damage future talks.
He said he hopes Washington will deal with the matter in a suitable way to prevent a recurrence.
<Photo: Yonhap News>
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