Written by HyunCheon Kim / Translated by JaeMin Woo
President Geun-hye Park, the first female president of South Korea as well as the first president to be elected with votes from abroad, will be visiting Washington D.C. on the 7th for a summit talk with President Obama.
President Park, who chose the U.S. as the destination for her first overseas tour, will be arriving in New York on the 5th to meet with Ki-moon Park, the Secretary General of the United Nations, as a “warm-up” for the conference at D.C. This meeting has been analyzed as President Park’s effort to learn more about President Obama and the nation as a whole to prepare for the conference talk.
President Park will have the conference talk with President Obama from the 6th to the 8th, and visit Los Angeles for a luncheon with Mayor Villaraigosa and a meeting with the local Korean Americans on the 8th and the 9th before heading back to Korea on the 10th.
According to the Blue House, President Park is expecting this conference talk to improve the relations between the two countries.
The U.S. is also looking forward to this conference. Jay Carney, the spokesman of the White House, described the summit talk as a linchpin to the peace and security of Asia and the Pacific area..
According to the Blue House, the conference talk will focus on the outcome and future development of the Korean-American alliance celebrating its 60th anniversary; the plans dealing with North Korean threats; peace and alliance in Northeast Asia; and strengthening the global partnership between the two countries.
The two presidents will also examine the Korean American Free Trade Agreement and discuss their roles in Northeast Asia and the Middle East, the potential revision of the ROK-U.S. Atomic Energy Agreement, and sharing the expense of defending the Korean peninsula.
During the tour, President Park will be accompanied by the largest economic delegation in Korean history. The group of 40-50 delegates includes Gun-hee Lee, Mong-goo Jung, Bon-moo Koo, Chang-soo Huh, the chairman of Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG and GS Groups respectively, other financiers, representatives from small businesses, and female entrepreneurs.
This will be the first time chairman Gun-hee Lee will be accompanying a President’s foreign tour since President Noh’s visit to Kazakhstan and Russia on September of 2004.
Also, the possibility rises of President Park giving a speech at a Senate-House joint session, as Congressmen Steve Israel (Democrat) and Ted Poe (Republican) submitted a letter to John Boehner requesting a speech to be given by President Park.
Meanwhile, Korean societies in the U.S. are preparing for a large-scale welcome for their President’s visit. On April 27th and 30th, The Korean American Public Affairs Committee (president, Chul-woo Lee) published a full-page advertisement in the Washington Times, welcoming President Park. The committee is planning to publish the advertisement on May 7th, the day of the summit talk.
Also, Korean Societies of Washington (Linda Han), Maryland (Doo-suk Jang), metropolitan Maryland (Jae-heung Suh), Virginia (Il-hong Song), and other 27 organizations together created a reception committee to prepare for a major welcoming event. The committee is led by the representatives from the four Korean Societies mentioned above, and prepared by Mun-hyung Lee.
The reception committee also plans to improve Korean-American relations and their mutual understanding by not only promoting President Park’s visit but also Korea itself to American society.
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지