National Diplomatic Academy's 60th Anniversary Celebration..."Ambiguous Diplomatic Line, Gaining Neither Credibility Nor National Interest" Criticised by the Government
"Communist totalitarian forces, opportunistic followers, and anti-state forces are still inciting anti-Japanese sentiments and misleadingly suggesting that the trilateral cooperation system derived from Camp David will endanger the Republic of Korea and its people," President Yun Suk-yol said on Monday.
"Our freedom is under constant threat," Yoon said in his remarks at the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic service at the National Diplomatic Academy in Yangjae-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, earlier in the day.
The remarks came as Democratic Party of Korea leader Lee Jae-myung launched an indefinite hunger strike the day before, claiming the current government's "failure" in relation to the discharge of contaminated water from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and the relocation of a bust of General Hong Bumdo.
"Ambiguity in diplomatic lines means a lack of values and philosophy," Yoon said, adding that "diplomacy that does not give predictability to the other side will never gain credibility or national interest."
"The National Diplomatic Academy should serve as a compass for our diplomats to conduct diplomacy based on clear values, history, and national perspective," he said.
The remarks were aimed at his predecessor, Moon Jae-in, who advocated "strategic ambiguity" and a "balanced diplomacy" that did not favour either the United States or China.
"The past 60 years of the Diplomatic Academy are our diplomatic history," Yoon said, recalling the history of the organisation, which began as a training centre for foreign service officers in 1963.
"The diplomatic service is a breeding ground for talented people who will carry out diplomacy in the global backbone," he said. "Now, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must unite our capabilities to prepare for the next 60 years of the Republic of Korea as a global backbone nation."
In particular, he called for "clarifying the ideology and value orientation of Korean diplomacy and conducting research and education based on them."
In concluding his remarks, President Yoon said, "The National Diplomatic Academy should grow into a global think tank of international stature and shape the discourse on Korean diplomacy," adding, "I urge you to exert all your efforts to train the best diplomats with a special sense of mission."
"In order to broaden our diplomatic horizons and pursue global pivotal diplomacy, we must pursue diversity from the recruitment and training of diplomats," he said, adding, "We must actively recruit and train specialists in special languages and strategic regions from the private sector."
"Korea's voyage to become a global pivotal nation contributing to freedom, peace, and prosperity is already in full swing," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin-hyun in his welcoming remarks. "In this great journey, the National Diplomatic Academy will nurture future talent as a leading foreign policy think tank."
"Over the past few years, due to faltering alliance diplomacy, Korean Peninsula-centric diplomatic initiatives, and a passive stance to avoid international responsibilities and risks, the NDA has been disoriented and stagnant," said Park Chul-hee, president of the NDA. "We will now strive to become the world's leading diplomatic and security think tank through the normalisation of abnormalities."
Yoon also met separately with 38 new diplomatic candidates and asked them to "continue to strive with a sense of mission as leaders of the country's future."
This is the first time a sitting president has held a town hall meeting with diplomatic candidates, according to the presidential office.
Yoon planted a bamboo tree in the diplomatic garden with the attendees as a sign that he hopes the diplomatic candidates will firmly and resolutely realise the universal values of freedom, human rights and the rule of law in the international community.
In June, President Yoon delivered a handwritten insignia, "Diplomacy as the Global Backbone of Freedom, Peace and Prosperity," to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the National Diplomatic Academy.
The ceremony was attended by more than 300 people from government-related ministries and the National Diplomatic Academy, as well as members of the presidential staff and academics.