Yesterday, South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-Yong delivered remarks from the White House driveway, regarding developments on North Korea.

This article by CNN states that there’re “unusual logistics” involved and having Chung deliver the news from the WH briefing room “would break protocol”, so they sent him outdoors to deliver the statement.

McMaster huddled with press secretary Sarah Sanders in her office to sort out the unusual logistics of a foreign government delivering an announcement from the White House.

It was determined that having Chung deliver his news from the briefing room podium would break protocol and prove confusing. Instead, they sent him outdoors to the set of microphones on permanent standby in the White House driveway.


  • Are there any past examples of a foreign government official delivering a statement on White House grounds (excluding joint press conferences and joint statements)?

  • Can a foreign government official deliver a statement from the WH briefing room?

    • Why would it “break protocol” if a foreign government official delivers a statement from the WH briefing room?

1 Answer 1


This does not directly address the question as asked, but there's a likely reasoning for this.

  1. As was discussed on March 8 Arms Control Wonk podcast (a pretty respected podcast from MISC, which often deals with DPRK related stuff), the last time there were talks between US and North Korea, two sides released wholly different statements (I think it was 2012).

    As such, having South Korean official announce things (especially in light of the fact that the talks were direct North/South, without US), isolates US from the risk of negatives stemming from any issues from making the announcement, including saving face if there are disagreements in statements

  2. Additionally, US opposes these talks in the first place; and (with good reason - again, discussed on podcast) doesn't anticipate success.

    As such, again, the goal is to separate US from the what would normally be a normal joint statement.

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