May 20, 2021 11:26
President Moon Jae-in left for Washington on Wednesday without his wife Kim Jung-sook due to coronavirus restrictions in the U.S.
Kim had accompanied her husband on all three previous visits to Washington, but Moon had to halve his entourage and take only a few key officials, Cheong Wa Dae said.
Kim had been vaccinated to prepare for the trip and she had even shortened the interval between the two AstraZeneca shots to be ready, but it was not to be.
Her schedule would not have been too taxing. Cheong Wa Dae wanted to arrange a meeting with U.S. President Joe Boden's wife Jill, and she might also have met Yumi Hogan, the wife of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, whom she met when the couple visited Seoul in 2017.
Kim, however, will accompany Moon on his trip to the U.K. for the G7 summit in June.
Meanwhile, Moon chatted with U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Robert Rapson, just prior to his departure on Wednesday afternoon. Moon said he had "high expectations" of his first overseas trip since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Moon starts his five-day trip by visiting the Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday to pay tribute to soldiers who died during World War II and the Korean War.
On Friday, he meets with Biden at the White House. It is Biden's second in-person meeting with a foreign leader since he took office in January after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga last month.
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