미국무부 대변인 존 커비는 지난 28일 한국에서 매주 진행되는 대규모 촛불집회에 대해 평화적 시위와 집회 권리에 관한 입장을 밝혔다.

존 커비 대변인은 이날 정례 브리핑에서 “국민들은 당연히 정부에 대한 그들의 우려를 나가서 말할 권리를 갖고 있어야 한다”고 강조했다.

QUESTION: What does State make of obviously these five weeks in continued massive protests, calls for President Park to resign? Obviously, they’re a major ally. Are there any concerns in this building about stability either as it relates to our relationship with Seoul or just in the peninsula in general?

MR KIRBY: Well, I mean – so a couple of things here. Obviously, the Republic of Korea remains a steadfast ally, friend, and partner. Nothing is going to change about our commitments to that alliance and to our commitment to the security of the peninsula. Certainly, we have seen the press reporting of the political protests, and I would let the protestors and the Government of Korea speak to that. You know where we stand on the right of peaceful protest and assembly and we continue to support that around the world. People should have the ability to go out and voice their concerns about government. But it doesn’t change one iota – our commitment to South Korea, to the government, to the people there, and to making sure that we continue to meet all our alliance commitments.

QUESTION: John? Follow-up. Follow-up on Korea.

MR KIRBY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Has the State Department spoken to anybody within the South Korean Government about the protests or concerns at all?

MR KIRBY: I don’t have any discussions to read out to you. I’m sure our embassy out there is in constant – as they are daily – contact with their counterparts there. But again, the – it’s a democracy and that’s how democracies work. And people have that right and that ability and they’re exercising that right. And I think that’s important.


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