Sejun, Future Diplomat-in-Training

When you have a schedule as busy as mine, it can be difficult to find time to spend with your family.  That is why, whenever possible, I like to bring Sejun along with me on my travels so I can spend some quality time with him and have him experience different places around Korea.

16-month-old Sejun

Two weeks ago, Sejun and I traveled to Jeju Island where I delivered a speech at the 2016 Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity. The session was on the important issue of climate change and ways we can work together to help solve one of the world’s toughest challenges.  This issue is something that will affect future generations of young people (including Sejun!) when they get older, so I am optimistic that our two countries can continue partnering together to develop cleaner and more efficient energy technologies and reduce carbon emissions to make our world a healthier, safer and more prosperous place.  Sejun wasn’t actually able to attend my speech at the forum, since he was busy helping himself to a whole plate of strawberries – one of his favorite fruits – while having brunch with Ms. Kim, who helps take care of Sejun while my wife Robyn is traveling on business.

After the forum, we visited the KEPCO Jeju Smart Grid Center to see some of the important work they are doing in advanced energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

With the staff at the KEPCO Jeju Smart Grid Center

During our trip to Jeju, we were able to visit the beautiful Cheonjiyeon Falls where Sejun and I walked around and enjoyed the scenery.  The area around the waterfall was filled with interesting and abundant plant life that created a very relaxing and peaceful atmosphere.

Sejun and I loved the Cheonjiyeon Falls in Jeju!

On the topic of climate change, Sejun and I also recently visited the Osan Air Quality research project site, where we met and talked with some of the 200 research scientists from the United States and Korea in this important partnership.  We climbed aboard the NASA research plane, which was fitted with sensitive instruments that gather air quality data about the atmosphere as the plane flies through the air.

With the Osan Air Quality Project research team

Finally, Sejun and I took a long trip out to Daejeon where I had a good meeting with the space initiative known as SATREC.  As one of the leading satellite companies in the world, they are an excellent example of the potential for commercial endeavors in space.

It’s been so nice to see the strong cooperation between the United States and Korea in the scientific community.  As we continue to work together, I know we can accomplish great things and make the world a better place for future generations.

At the Satrec Initiative

While in Daejeon, we also attended a baseball game between the Hanhwa Eagles and the KT Wiz.  I threw the first pitch, and Sejun spent the game causing mischief.  

With Sejun at the Hanhwa-KT baseball game!

People kept coming up to us throughout the game asking to take photos with us.  In fact, there were so many people that they formed an “endless photo line,” as the Korean media later dubbed it.  It was great to see so many people out enjoying the game, and I was happy to pose for photos with over 100 fellow baseball fans.

Here is a link to the article of me taking endless photos with the baseball fans!

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