More than 120 political and business figures from Korea and the United States attended the welcoming banquet for U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Tuesday as a part of red-carpet treatment for the first U.S. leader invited to Seoul for a ceremonial state visit in a quarter of a century.
According to Blue House, the Korean presidential office, on Tuesday, the banquet held after summit talks between Trump and Korean President Moon Jae-in and their joint press conference was attended by Korean National Assembly Speaker Chung Se-kyun, Supreme Court Chief Justice Kim Myung-soo and Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon. Some key Korean government officials and politicians including Deputy Prime Minister Kim Dong-yeon, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Energy Paik Un-gyu, Democratic Party Chairwoman Choo Mi-ae, Liberty Korea Party Chairman Hong Joon-pyo, Bareun Party floor leader Joo Ho-yeong, People’s Party floor leader Kim Dong-cheol, Justice Party leader Lee Jung-mi, Korean Peninsula Forum Chairman Hong Seok-hyun and former Ambassador to the U.S. Lee Tae-sik attended the welcoming party. Gangwon Province Governor Choi Moon-soon was also invited as Pyeongchang Winter Olympics comes up in Korea early next year.
From the business circle, Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, LG Group Vice Chairman Koo Bon-joon, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Yoon Boo-keun, Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn, Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho and Poongsan Group Chairman Ryu Jin attended the dinner. In addition, Korea Chamber of Industry and Commerce Chairman Park Yong-maan, Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business Chairman Park Sung-taek, Korean Women Entrepreneurs Association Chairwoman Han Moo-kyung and American Chamber of Commerce in Korea Chairman James Kim were in attendance.
From the U.S., White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, national security adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and senior advisor Jared Kushner were present at the banquet.
U.S. President Trump arrived in Korea on Nov. 7 for a 24-hour state visit. During his short trip to Korea, the leaders of the two allies discussed various issues including North Korea’s nuclear program, the free trade agreement between the two countries, and Korea’s defense spending.
By Kang Gye-man and Choi Mira
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