Former U.S. President Barack Obama met with current South Korean President Moon Jae-in Monday, where the two discussed President Donald Trump’s policies for the Korean peninsula.
Moon opposes Trump’s policy of expanding beyond largely-fruitless negotiations with North Korea on nuclear disarament and has criticized Trump’s plans to increase pressure of Communist China to broker a deal. Moon specifically has been a harsh critic of U.S. plans to deploy missile defense systems throughout South Korea and Japan to stop a preemptive strike by North Korea.
That opposition is largely driven by Communist China, who fears the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system can identify their military’s radar installations. Communist China’s state-run media give widespread coverage to anti-THAAD protests in South Korea, raising suspicions the Beijing government has a role in staging them.
It also raises questions about Obama’s involvement in the issue. Traditionally, former Presidents do not comment on the policies of the current president, and the 40-minute long meeting centered largely on dealing with Trump. It also comes at a time when Beijing is looking toward U.S. opinion and policymakers to thwart Trump’s plans to expand THAAD.
That raises suspicions that Chinese donors to the Obama Foundation and Obama Presidential Library are exercising influence with the former President. Obama has already come under fire for his relationship with Communist Chinese-linked donors such as Robert W. Roche, the co-founder and chairman of the board of Acorn International Inc., a media and branding direct-sales company based in Shanghai.
A large donor to Obama, Roche’s generosity won him a literal seat at the table during trade negotiations with Communist China — directly next to Obama himself. Three living former Presidents, the then-Secretary of State, were seated further down the table from Roche. Roche would meet with Obama officials in the White House 19 times, despite living in Shanghai.
Roche’s ties to Obama were exposed in 2012 by Breitbart editor Steve Bannon, now Trump’s top adviser.
It’s unusual for a former president to speak out on a current president’s policies, and it’s even stranger for one to meet with a foreign leader to map out a policy that largely follows the recommendations of a neighboring power.
So who’s pulling the strings?