President Moon Jae-in's top security adviser has reportedly canceled his summer vacation plans in consideration of rising military threats from North Korea, an official at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Saturday.
Chung Eui-yong, the head of the Presidential National Security Office, was scheduled to leave for summer vacation next week, as the president encouraged his Cheong Wa Dae staff not to refrain from taking leave. Moon himself enjoyed a weeklong vacation in early August.
|This file photo released by Cheong Wa Dae on July 29, 2017, shows Chung Eui-yong (R), the head of the Presidential National Security Office, listening to Defense Minister Song Young-moo prior to a meeting of the National Security Council in Seoul. (Yonhap)|
In a text message sent to reporters covering Cheong Wa Dae, the official said," Chung has no vacation plans this summer."
As North Korea has recently ratcheted up its bellicose rhetoric against the United States and its allies, some critics have expressed concern about Chung's possible leave, particularly amid the grave security situation on the Korean Peninsula.
"After President Moon asked Cheong Wa Dae staff to feel free to take leave, Chung had roughly selected the third week of August as his vacation time. But as the security situation worsened, he gave up the plan," said the official.
Chung presided over a meeting of the National Security Council on Thursday to discuss countermeasures against North Korea's threat to launch four missiles towards the U.S.-controlled island of Guam, home to several U.S. military units.
On Friday, Chung had a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart H.R. McMaster and reached an agreement to discuss in advance any steps they could take to contain a provocative North Korea. (Yonhap)
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