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Briefing Room

First Lady Kim hosts event for spouses of Pacific island leaders


First Lady Kim Keon Hee (fifth from left) on May 29 with the spouses of Pacific island nation leaders at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul.


First Lady Kim Keon Hee on May 29 spent time with the spouses of Pacific island nation leaders who were visiting Seoul for the inaugural Korea-Pacific Islands Summit.


The gathering was held at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul to highlight the nation's cultural heritage such as the Ten-story Stone Pagoda from Gyeongcheonsa Temple, gold crown from the Silla Kingdom, white porcelain, celadon and guilt-bronze statues of the Pensive Bodhisattva, the Office of the President said.


The participants included the spouses of the heads of state of the Cook Islands, Palau, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and French Polynesia and the wife of Pacific Islands Forum secretary general.


Watching with the group traditional dances such as taepyeongmu performed by intangible cultural heritage masters and pansori (traditional Korean solo lyrical opera), First Lady Kim said, "I wish for the blue Pacific region to become a 'peaceful ocean' just like its name."


Taepyeong means "Pacific" (peaceful) in Korean.


She later led the group to Jingwansa Temple for temple food and tea, describing the meanings of the dishes and introducing traditional culinary culture such as jangdokdae (traditional Korean earthen pots).


After lunch, the participants toured the temple and attended a meditation class. One said that despite being short, the program offered the chance for self-reflection and healing of mind and body free from the hustle and bustle of modern life.


First Lady Kim Keon Hee (third from left, front row) and the spouses of Pacific island nation leaders on May 29 attend a meditation class at Jingwansa Temple in Seoul.


First Lady Kim also promoted the joint efforts of the government and private sector to land Busan the right to host the 2030 World Expo.


The Office of the President said all of the participants described Korean arts as "very interesting and impressive" and thanked First Lady Kim for organizing a "meaningful schedule of friendship activities."