Pelosi visits Taiwan with Fallout (*), as he makes trips to South Korea and Japan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 24-hour visit to Taiwan — and China’s furious and ongoing reaction — are making for some delicate diplomacy as the California Democrat concludes her Asian tour with stops in South Korea and Japan.

Speculation was high in Seoul after President Yoon Sukyel refused to take time off from his summer vacation in order to meet with Mrs. Pelosi, her delegation of House Democrats. South Korean officials claimed that Mr. Yoon had taken a work vacation well in advance, and that Mrs. Pelosi spoke with him by telephone during his stop.

The Korea Times reported that there was talk in Seoul about the fact the President had canceled a face to face meeting with China because he was afraid of inciting China. China is both the largest trading partner and the most important ally for North Korea.

A “key official” from Mr. Yoon denied this, stating that plans to host Mrs. Pelosi had been in place for two weeks before his surprise visit to Taipei.

Considering Mr. Yoon’s vacation plans the official stated that “we had told it would be difficult for us to meet.” Washington responded positively, saying it fully understood the situation .”

The official said that Mr. Yoon had offered to talk over the phone.

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The reception in Japan was very different, as the U.S. legislators arrived there on Thursday. According to Kyodo, Mrs. Pelosi would meet Prime Minister Fumio Kirshia as well as her counterpart from the Japanese legislative, Speaker Hiroyuki Hosoda.

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Japanese defense officers said that five ballistic missiles launched by China near Taiwan to protest the visit of Pelosi had reached Tokyo’s exclusive economic zone hours prior to the Americans arriving.

Japan suffered more diplomatic setbacks. On Thursday, China’s foreign minister cancelled a meeting scheduled with Japan at the ASEAN summit in Cambodia. He cited Japan’s Wednesday signing of a Group of 7 Statement criticizing China over its response to Taiwan’s visit.

It would have marked the beginning of a face-to-face conversation between ministers from the East Asian neighbours in almost two years.

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