Seoul’s FM Nominee Cho Tae-yul Advocates for Balanced Relations with China and U.S.

SEOUL: Cho Tae-yul, the nominee for South Korea's foreign minister, emphasized the importance of managing relations with China in a way that does not compromise the country's alliance with the United States during his parliamentary hearing on Monday.

According to Yonhap News Agency, while speaking at the National Assembly, it is challenging to maintain an "absolute" balance between South Korea's ties with both China and the United States. He referred to China as a significant "partner" for South Korea, despite differences in various areas. Cho, a retired diplomat and former ambassador to the United Nations, underscored the potential for cooperation with China, especially in the fields of economy and human exchanges.

Cho stated his commitment to strengthening the South Korea-U.S. alliance and developing relations with China for future collaboration. He highlighted the need to accelerate cooperation with the United States and Japan in response to the increasing missile and nuclear threats from North Korea, particularly following recent North Korean artillery firings near the inter-Korean border.

Cho stressed the importance of working with the international community to dissuade North Korea from pursuing nuclear weapons, emphasizing that dialogue is the only viable option for denuclearization. He also addressed South Korea's approach to compensating Korean victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule, supporting the government's third-party compensation plan funded by South Korean companies.

During the hearing, Cho responded to questions regarding his alleged involvement in a judicial power abuse scandal under the administration of former President Park Geun-hye. He clarified his role, stating that his consultations with a senior top court official were part of routine procedures and not indicative of judicial manipulation. Cho emphasized that these discussions were aimed at addressing national interests and should not be construed as judicial interference.

Cho Tae-yul's statements during the confirmation hearing reflect South Korea's strategic approach to balancing its diplomatic relations with major global powers while addressing regional security challenges.

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