May 11, 2022 09:40
President Yoon Suk-yeol began his term in office on Tuesday by landing an invitation to China. Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, who was here for Yoon's inauguration, passed on an invitation from President Xi Jinping.
Wang quoted Xi as saying he hoped Korea will develop and live in peace under Yoon's leadership. Xi did not visit Korea in the five years of former President Moon Jae-in's presidency.
Yoon also met delegates from other foreign countries who attended the inauguration. The first foreign delegation in his new office in Yongsan was led by Douglas Emhoff, the husband of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.
Yoon said the bilateral alliance made it possible for Korea to prosper and Emhoff's visit shows it has a bright future.
Emhoff delivered a personal letter from U.S. President Joe Biden in which he expressed hopes of cooperating closely with Yoon over the next five years.
Yoon then met Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, who also handed him a letter from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Yoon expressed hopes that the two leaders "will try together to improve bilateral relations. I look forward to meeting [Kishida] as soon as possible."
Yoon ended his first day with a banquet at Hotel Shilla in downtown Seoul, where guests were served with a mixture of traditional Korean dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients throughout the country and some fusion recipes. A spokesman said the dinner was "a combination of cuisines" to symbolize national unity and also global harmony and exchanges.
Yoon's main office at the new presidential building in Yongsan will be on the second floor in a bid to increase transparency since the press room is on the ground floor, but Yoon is temporarily using the fifth floor until the renovation is complete. His presidential quarters in Hannam-dong are also under renovation, so he will commute from his home in Seocho-dong for a while.
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