Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Japanese and U.S. diplomats in South Korea are coming under criticism for inquiring about President Moon Jae-in's political inclinations.
Lee Seok-hyun, a South Korean lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party, said in a Facebook post published Tuesday a Japanese diplomat, who remained unidentified, had asked whether "it is true there are claims President Moon Jae-in is surrounded by allegations of being a pro-North Korean leftist," Yonhap reported.
Lee's online posting comes a few days after reports claimed U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Harry Harris made similar remarks about the South Korean president.
Harris' remarks may have been "leaked" by South Korean lawmakers who visited with him on Sept. 23, according to the Korea Times on Monday.
During the meeting with nine lawmakers representing ruling and opposition parties, Harris may have asked the lawmakers what they think of reports alleging Moon is a pro-North Korean leftist, South Korean television network MBC reported Sunday.
Harris' remarks were made during the September meeting, when Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Ahn Sang-soo said it might be a "good idea" to not hold U.S.-North Korea talks ahead of South Korean general elections in 2020.
Ahn reportedly used the term "pro-North Korean leftist" several times during his conversation with the U.S. ambassador while "explaining" the candlelight protests that eventually led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye in 2017.
Harris previously said in an interview with a South Korean newspaper Seoul needs to pay nearly $5 billion in burden-sharing costs. North Korean propaganda recently mentioned Harris in a statement, comparing the ambassador to a colonial-era Japanese governor, according to MBC.
Harris was born in Yokosuka, Japan, in 1956. His mother was Japanese.