Korean beef, ballad song and chopstick gift set for Trump in state dinner

By Jo He-rim
  • Published : Nov 7, 2017 - 21:54
  • Updated : Nov 7, 2017 - 22:14
US President Donald Trump was served traditional Korean dishes at a state dinner Tuesday, attended by some 120 other guests representing the two countries’ close relationship in the areas of diplomacy, business, culture and security.

President Moon Jae-in, first lady Kim Jung-sook, US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump share a toast during a state dinner at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

The main dish was Korean beef ribs marinated in a special soy sauce with the Korean traditional dish Japchae, or stir-fried glass noodles, with prawns from the country‘s easternmost islets of Dokdo.

“We have taken into consideration the preferences of the leaders while trying to provide a traditional Korean taste,” South Korea’s presidential official said. 


Grilled sole, said to be one of President Trump’s favorites, was also on the dinner table, which was decorated with the concept of an imperial court in Korea with fabric flowers made of silk and ramie cloths. 

The US leader had served President Moon Jae-in the dish at a dinner banquet when he visited the United States in June.

For dessert, a rich chocolate cake garnished with raspberry vanilla sauce and Sujeonggwa, or cinnamon punch, a traditional Korean drink, were served.


The dinner was followed by special performances at the reception hall of the Cheong Wa Dae, celebrating the US leader’s visit.

The show was a mixture of western and traditional Korean music and classical and contemporary tunes, involving the Korean Broadcasting System Symphony Orchestra, Korean classic pansori singer Yoo Taepyeongyang and Korean pop singer Park Hyo-shin. Park performed his hit song “Wild Flower,” which Cheong Wa Dae said was chosen because of its lyrics.

On the guest list were fashion model Han Hye-jin, film director and novelist Lee Chang-dong, the 2007 Cannes Film Festival’s best actress Jeon Do-yeon and former “comfort woman” Lee Yong-su.

Lee, who as a teen was forced to work at a military brothel for Japanese soldiers during World War II, had testified at the US Congress in 2007 along with another victim who has since died.

Also on the guest list was Lee Seong-ju, a North Korean defector who was selected as one of this year’s Fulbright scholarship recipients.

Moon and his wife Kim Jung-sook presented traditional Korean stone bowls, brass spoons and chopsticks as gifts to Trump and his wife Melania Trump after the state dinner, the presidential office said. 


On the back of the spoons and chopsticks, called “notsujeo” in Korean, the phrase “we go together” was engraved, along with the visit’s date -- “2017.11.7.” The inscriptions were to represent the close relations between the leaders and the strong alliance between their countries, the office said.

The stone bowls, or “dolsot” in Korean, are a symbolic gift given to those who have accomplished remarkable achievements, according to the office.

By Jo He-rim (