What is the Truth?: Rumor Says, 'Chief Presidential Secretary Flew into UAE to Appease UAE' | BusinessKorea

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Lim Jong-seok, chief presidential secretary of Korea, is shaking hands with Mohammed Bin Zayed Nahyan, crown prince of the UAE in the afternoon of December 10.
Lim Jong-seok, chief presidential secretary of Korea, is shaking hands with Mohammed Bin Zayed Nahyan, crown prince of the UAE in the afternoon of December 10.
Seoul, Korea
18 December 2017 - 6:15pm
Michael Herh

It has been found that Khadoon Khalifa al-Mubarak, chairman of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) of the UAE in charge of the construction project for the Baraka Nuclear Power Plant which Korea landed, was present in a meeting between Lim Jong-seok, chief presidential secretary of Korea and Mohammed Bin Zayed al-Nahyan, crown prince of the UAE.

On December 18, the Korea-based Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported it, disclosing a photo where Lim was at a table with chairman al-Mubarak and crown prince al-Nahyan on December 10. The photo supported a rumor that Lim visited the UAE in the name of encouraging the dispatched troops but actually to take care of a diplomatic problem with the UAE which occurred in connection with the construction of the Baraka Nuclear Power Plant due to the Moon Jae-in administration’s nuclear phase-out policy. Cheong Wa Dae (Korea’s White House) disclosed a picture of a handshake between Lim and crown prince Mohammed with respect to Lim’s UAE visit only and did not disclose the list of other UAE VIPs contacted by Lim on that day.

According to the Chosun Ilbo, "We placed a big order to build and run the Baraka Nuclear Power Plant with Korea. Will South Korea be able to build and run the nuclear power plant while pushing forward with a nuclear phase-out policy?" chairman Khaldoon said to Lim. "There is no problem," a local source was quoted Lim as saying.
  
In December 2009, South Korea won an order worth US$18.6 billion to build the Baraka Nuclear Power Plant. The contract volume except for that of the operation contract was assessed as the largest ever single export in the history of Korea’s exports. On top of that, Korea landed a 54 trillion won (US$48 billion) contract to run the power plant in October of last year.

"A rumor is going around that Lim flew into the UAE in order to address a crisis where the UAE might sever its diplomatic ties with Korea," said Kim Seong-tae, floor leader of the opposition Liberty Korea Party in a meeting with third-term lawmakers presided by him on December 15. “I formally request to convene a Steering Committee meeting at 11 am on December 19.” Matters related to Cheong Wa Dae is under the jurisdiction of the Steering Committee and floor leader Kim is its chairman.

"A rumor has it that Lim went to the UAE not for inter-Korean talks but for diplomacy to stamp out fire," floor leader Kim claimed in an emergency party meeting earlier on December 14. "There is a rumor that as the UAE crown prince ran down the Moon Jae-in administration that spread ridiculous stories about the nuclear power plant order landed by Korea during the Lee Myung-bak administration, even mentioning the severance of the diplomatic ties between Korea and the UAE, Lim paid a visit to the crown prince of the UAE."

At the time, Cheong Wa Dae said that Lim flew into the Middle East to encourage the Akh Unit in the UAE and Dongmyeong Unit in Lebanon. However, the Korean political world paid a lot of attention to Lim’s visit as his dispatch as a special envoy was a rare case for the chief presidential secretary and Song Young-moo, minister of national defense, already visited the units about one month ago. Some observers said that Cheong Wa Dae chose Lebanon as a window for contacts with North Korea as there is a North Korean embassy in Lebanon.

In this regard, "I will not contact North Korea because there is prejudice against me regarding North Korea issues. It is better for me to be out of North Korean issues."  

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