NATO Replaces Photo of President Yoon with His Eyes Closed upon Request from the Office of the President

Yoo Jeong-in in Madrid 입력 2022. 7. 1. 12:55
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President Yoon Suk-yeol takes a picture with the prime ministers of Australia, Japan and New Zealand and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg in Madrid, Spain on June 29 (local time). Originally, a photo of President Yoon with his eyes closed had been published on the NATO website, but it was replaced as of June 30. NATO website

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) published a group photo of state leaders on its website, but it showed President Yoon Suk-yeol with his eyes closed. The Office of the President requested changes and the picture in question has now been replaced.

On June 29 (local time), NATO published a picture of four leaders of partner countries in Asia and the Pacific invited to the NATO Summit--South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand--along with Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO in the website “Photos” menu.

The picture published on the website showed President Yoon with his eyes closed, a contrast with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Norman Albanese, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Secretary General Stoltenberg, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern who were staring straight ahead.

Some criticized the photo as negligence of diplomatic etiquette and protocol. The Office of the President asked NATO to correct the matter when they were aware of the problem. A representative of the presidential office met with reporters on the morning of June 30 and spoke on the lack of attention to protocol. He said, “I think it was difficult to check every single item posted by NATO,” and added, “From what I know, when they heard about the picture after it was published, they spoke with NATO, and it should be corrected soon.” He described it as a “small administrative mistake (by NATO).” Currently, the picture on the NATO website has been replaced with one in which President Yoon is looking straight ahead.

Earlier, in a photo session of NATO ally and partner country leaders, U.S. President Joe Biden stirred controversy by shaking hands with President Yoon without looking at him (referred to as the “no-look handshake” in Korea). The representative of the presidential office argued, “It is dangerous to make conclusions on the relationship between the two state leaders and the two countries based on one short moment.” He mentioned that President Yoon had already met with President Biden several times and that he was the fastest of any previous governments to hold a summit with the U.S. He also said that the two leaders fully understood each other.

ⓒ 경향신문 & 경향닷컴(, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지

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