Presenting My Credentials to President Park Geun-hye

On Friday, November 21, I had the pleasure of meeting with President Park Geun-hye for the third time.  The first time was in early 2013 when President Park was elected President and I was a member of the U.S. delegation delivering President Obama’s congratulatory letter to President Park with Kurt Campbell and Daniel Russel. 

 A screenshot of meeting President Park for the first time in January 2013

This time, however, was the most exciting as I was presenting my credentials as the U.S. Ambassador to Korea.  I have been on the other side of the credentialing process in the U.S., standing next to President Obama and helping pass materials to newly-arrived ambassadors to the U.S. in the Oval Office of the White House.  I was definitely more nervous on this side of the table.

Heading to the Blue House with my credentials

When we arrived, I was impressed by the Korean soldiers standing in line to greet me.  I am always grateful to those who serve.  Inside the Blue House, where we were waiting, there were amazing Korean folding screens and beautiful artwork around us. 

With President Park and Foreign Minister Yun in front of the beautiful folding screen
(Photo courtesy of Blue House)

We practiced a few times in front of the press, and I hoped I wouldn’t make any mistakes.  Luckily, everything went smoothly.  The ceremony in the Blue House embodied the spirit and culture of Korea, and was both elegant and significant, combining the modern and the traditional.  I feel so fortunate to have had this experience.

Presenting my credentials to President Park at the Blue House
(Photo courtesy of Blue House)

As we walked out of the ceremony, President Park asked me in English: “Are you learning Korean?”  I replied in Korean, “지금 저는 한국어 학생입니다. (I am a student studying Korean.)”  I hope President Park thought highly of my efforts.

We then met on a whole host of issues, from our bilateral relationship to our military alliance.  Ours is a true partnership, focused on solving multi-faceted problems regionally and globally.  Of key concern to both countries are issues pertaining to:  health, security, the economy, and people-to-people ties.  It is noteworthy that we are taking on very complicated, difficult challenges, such as the North Korean nuclear issue, and partnering on solving them in a cooperative manner.

I am most grateful to President Park for the substantive and rich dialogue that was also personally warm and for giving me so much of her valuable time.  I know that President Obama thinks extremely highly of President Park and that he enjoyed seeing her recently in Beijing.  Now that I am fully able to carry out my duties as Ambassador, I look forward to getting out in the community and building relationships with the Korean people.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to your inauguration as our new ambassador, and to your rich dialogue with President Park. Our partnership has been, is, and will be forever strong, and I have no doubt that together, we will be able to tackle and solve all problems. Thank you Ambassador!


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