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Taiwan sends Seoul office staff to attend S Korean presidential inauguration

Mutual understanding prevents MOFA from revealing whether top envoy will attend

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South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol after his election victory in March. 

South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol after his election victory in March.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Representatives of Taiwan’s office in Seoul will attend the May 10 inauguration of South Korea’s new president, Yoon Suk-yeol, reports said Wednesday (May 5).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said it had wanted to entrust the Legislative Yuan with forming a delegation to travel to South Korea, but COVID surges in both countries had put an end to that plan, CNA reported. Lawmakers returning to Taiwan would also need to spend seven days in quarantine.

MOFA was unable to reveal whether Taiwan’s top envoy to Seoul, Tang Diann-wen (唐殿文), would be present at the inauguration because of a mutual understanding between the two governments.

In 2008, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-ping (王金平) led a delegation to the inauguration of President Lee Myung-bak, but interference by China prevented the Taiwanese group from actually attending the event. However, Wang’s next trip to the country, for the inauguration of President Park Geun-hye in 2013, was successful, signifying a breakthrough in relations.