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Yellen To Visit ROK Amid Challenging Domestic Political Environment In Seoul


US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will begin a trip to the Republic of Korea tomorrow, the final stop of her first tour of the Indo-Pacific region.

  • According to the Treasury Department, the trip will address supply chain bottlenecks, friend-shoring, and the price cap on Russian oil.
    • 00:30 ET 05:30 BST: Secretary Yellen will meet Bank of Korea Governor Rhee Chang-yong.
    • 02:00 ET 07:00 BST: Yellen will meet with President Yoon Suk Yeol.
    • 03:30 ET 08:30 BST: Yellen will meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Choo Kyung-ho.
  • The trip comes at a challenging time for Korean President Yoon Seok-youl. Yoon's ambition to restart bilateral relations with Japan appears to have torpedoed a relatively strong start to his presidency.
  • Doug Bandow at the Cato Institute describes the imbalance between Korean and Japanese efforts at rapprochement: “The only change that has really occurred is in Seoul — that President Yoon is more willing to find a solution to disputes with Japan. I don’t see any change in Tokyo that moves dramatically away from former prime ministers Abe or Suga’s positions."
  • Morning Consult’s global survey tracking shows Yoon’s approval rating in South Korea fell 11 percentage points from 39% shortly before the June 28-30 NATO summit where Yoon and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met, to the current 28%.
  • In that same period Kishida experienced a 3-point bounce to 43% although the assassination of former PM Shinzo Abe may have contributed to the bounce.

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