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Korean traditional culture, K-pop presented to leaders’ spouses

First Lady Kim Yoon-ok offered the spouses of global leaders currently in Seoul for the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit a chance to appreciate both Korean traditional culture and K-pop at an official luncheon held in Cheong Wa Dae, on Tuesday.

Kim, a strong advocate of the globalization of hansik, or Korean cuisine, hosted a luncheon at Sangchunjae, meaning “a house used during spring.” Sangchujae, built in 1983 to serve VIP guests, is the only traditional-style building at the Blue House complex. At the luncheon, the spouses sampled Korean traditional cuisine including kimchijeon, or kimchi pancake, japchae, or noodles stir-fried in sesame oil with a variety of vegetables, and royal dishes. Fifteen spouses attended the luncheon, according to the committee.
First lady Kim Yoon-ok (seventh from right) poses with spouses of leaders in Seoul to attend the Nuclear Security Summit before an official lunch at Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday. (From left) Friedrun Sabine Burkhalter, wife of the Swiss foreign minister; Margarida Barroso, wife of the European Commission president; Gursharan Kaur, wife of the Indian prime minister; Elsa Antonioli Monti wife of Italy’s prime minister; Noorainee Abdul Rahman of the Malay vice prime minister; Yoo Soon-taek, wife of the U.N. Secretary-General; Elenita S.Binay, wife of the Filipino vice president; Ani Bambang Yudhoyono, wife of the Indonesian president; Kim; Nompumelelo Zuma, wife of the South African president; Patience Jonathan, wife of the Nigerian president; Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, wife of the president of Gabon; Tran Thanh Kiem, wife of Vietnam’s prime minister; Cecilia Morel de Pinera, wife of the Chilean president and Emine Erdogan, wife of the prime minister of Turkey. (Yonhap News)
First lady Kim Yoon-ok (seventh from right) poses with spouses of leaders in Seoul to attend the Nuclear Security Summit before an official lunch at Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday. (From left) Friedrun Sabine Burkhalter, wife of the Swiss foreign minister; Margarida Barroso, wife of the European Commission president; Gursharan Kaur, wife of the Indian prime minister; Elsa Antonioli Monti wife of Italy’s prime minister; Noorainee Abdul Rahman of the Malay vice prime minister; Yoo Soon-taek, wife of the U.N. Secretary-General; Elenita S.Binay, wife of the Filipino vice president; Ani Bambang Yudhoyono, wife of the Indonesian president; Kim; Nompumelelo Zuma, wife of the South African president; Patience Jonathan, wife of the Nigerian president; Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, wife of the president of Gabon; Tran Thanh Kiem, wife of Vietnam’s prime minister; Cecilia Morel de Pinera, wife of the Chilean president and Emine Erdogan, wife of the prime minister of Turkey. (Yonhap News)

After the lunch, the group attended a mini concert in Yeongbingwan, the state guest house. A hanbok performance of “Queen’s Morning,” which portrays a Joseon queen’s wedding day, opened the concert. Kim Joo-won, prima ballerina with the National Ballet of Korea, played the role of the queen, expressing mixed feelings of anxiety and joy through dance and a solo cello performance. Kim wore 16 layers of blue, red and navy hanbok with the assistance of her four ladies-in-waiting, reflecting the traditional Korean way of serving elders and superiors.

Following the performance, Korean Wave stars hit the stage. Three-member boy group JYJ and ballad singer Seong Si-kyung sang two songs each. JYJ, who are also PR ambassadors for the Nuclear Security Summit, sang hits including “Be My Girl,” while Seong, nicknamed the ballad prince, sang his latest single “First Time.”

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)
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