Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will lead a diplomatic response to the leak of classified Pentagon documents, according to a US official familiar with the matter.
U.S. government officials are “engaging with high-level allies and partners on this issue, including to reassure them of our commitment to protecting intelligence and the loyalty of our partnership” following the massive leak of highly classified documents, Deputy State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said. . Monday.
Patel did not elaborate on which countries they worked with, saying that “this work is ongoing.”
Asked by CNN if the State Department is leading the conversation, Patel said that “as the chief diplomatic arm and agency of this administration, of course the State Department will have a role to play in communicating with our allies and partners, but these conversations are taking place within the administration.”
“U.S. officials are engaging with allies and partners at the highest levels on this issue,” he said.
Patel did not say if any steps were taken to restrict access to classified information at the State Department as a result of the leak, saying he did not want to discuss political decisions.
CNN reported that some leaked documents included intelligence related to the war in Ukra*ne.
International response: Patel did not talk about specific comments from South Korean and Israeli officials responding to the leaked documents. South Korea’s presidential office said it would hold “necessary discussions with the US” over the leaked documents as relations between Seoul and Washington are already strained over South Korea’s anger over the Inflation Reduction Act hurting South Korea’s auto industry, and concerns. in connection with the US Chip Act.
“The Yoon administration is very frustrated that it is too committed to the US alliance, so every aspect of the relationship between the US and South Korea is under the microscope,” said the former US ambassador to South Korea.
The South Korean president is due to visit the White House later this month, making the time around the incident particularly unfortunate, the former diplomat said.
“Does Yoon have to bring this up during a state visit? We don’t know yet,” the diplomat said.
More broadly, one diplomat from a NATO country told CNN they do not believe Moscow was overly surprised by much of the information disclosed in the leaked documents, noting that Russ*a was conducting active intelligence-gathering operations.
They also said they were not disappointed that US intelligence had not been widely shared with allies. This diplomat said that most countries don’t share everything with their allies, and no one expects them to.
“That is not so,” the diplomat said.