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Head of US think tank CFR receives S. Korean state medal

Richard Haass (C), president of the Council on Foreign Relations think tank, and South Korean Ambassador Lee Soo-hyuck (second from R) are seen posing for a group photo after Haass was awarded a South Korean medal of diplomatic service in a ceremony in Washington on Tuesday, in this photo provided by the South Korean embassy in Washignton. (South Korean embassy in Washignton)
Richard Haass (C), president of the Council on Foreign Relations think tank, and South Korean Ambassador Lee Soo-hyuck (second from R) are seen posing for a group photo after Haass was awarded a South Korean medal of diplomatic service in a ceremony in Washington on Tuesday, in this photo provided by the South Korean embassy in Washignton. (South Korean embassy in Washignton)
WASHINGTON -- Richard Haass, head of a US think tank, was awarded a South Korean medal Tuesday for his contributions to the strengthening of the US-South Korea alliance.

The chief of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) received the Gwanghwa Medal of the Order of Diplomatic Service Merit from South Korean Ambassador Lee Soo-hyuck in a ceremony in Washington.

The Gwanghwa Medal is the highest honor in the Order of Diplomatic Service Merit that is given to those "who have rendered meritorious service to the extension of national prestige overseas and to the promotion of friendship with other nations," the embassy said in a press release.

"Amb. Lee expressed his gratitude, saying (CFR) President Haass has greatly helped to enhance the understanding of the US government and people about the importance of the South Korea-US alliance and South Korea's contributions in dealing with the North Korean nuclear issue," it said.

Haass said he was honored to have received the medal and expressed his gratitude to the South Korean government and President Moon Jae-in, according to the embassy.

Before joining the CFR as its president in 2003, Haass worked at the US State Department as director of policy planning. (Yonhap)
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