By Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik with Tourism Editor Yeu Min-yul
Mme. Yeo Mung-joo (a leading lady entrepreneur in the Gangwon Province, who formerly owned the picturesque Gracia Tourist Hotel in East Coast city of Samcheok in the Gangwon province is now working on a program to provide a prestigious housing for the ambassadors and their families in Seoul.
At a recent interview with The Korea Post media, she said, “It has always been my dream to provide the ambassadors with ‘highest-class’ office and residence environment at very reasonable prices.
Largely regarded as a very large real estate owner in the Gangwon Province, Mme. Yeo is considered an ‘inveterate’ admirer lover of the ambassadors and diplomat families.
For this purpose, Mme. Yeo said that she has already purchased buildings in the Gangnam area (‘Manhattan’ of Seoul) and also in the prestigious area in Seoul near Cheong Wa Dae site (former Office of the President of the Republic of Korea).
In 2016, she hosted a reception for the ambassadors and senior diplomats with their spouses at her beautiful beach forest on the East Coast in the Samcheok City in the Gangwon Province. At the time she said, “This visit by the Excellencies and Madams here today is a true grace to the City of Samcheok and I will do my level best to fully meet the expectations of all the distinguished guests with the most wonderful new hotel, the Samcheok Santa Maria Hotel, to be built here soon.”
The participants at the time included Ambassadors Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d'Ivoire, Myrat Mammetalyyev of Turkmenistan, Elizabeth Nicol of Ghana, Milan Lajciak of Slovakia, Gonzalo Ortiz of Spain, Adalgisa Maria Soares Ximenes of East Timor, and Ambassador Sharifzoda Yusuf of Tajikistan. There also Deputy Heads of Mission Bakhter Ibragimov of Uzbekistan and Panko Panov of Bulgaria.
In response to the welcome speech, Ambassador Petar Andonov of Bulgaria (most senior of all the ambassadors that day) gave an impromptu return speech. Ambassador Andonov expressed his gratitude to the host for the kind invitation of the ambassadors and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps to visit the East Coast as well as to the hotel.
He said that the tour contributed greatly to the understanding of the local tourist assets of the East Coast of Korea as well as the Santa Maria Hotel of Chairperson Yeo.
Then there was a congratulatory speech by National Assemblyman Lee Chul-kyu who highly praised the efforts made by Chairperson Yeo for the promotion of understanding and friendship between Korea and the countries represented by the visiting ambassadors and other senior diplomats.
Seasoned MBC TV Anchor Choi Il-ku performed the role of MC at the welcome luncheon reception that day, which added to the high quality of introduction of the tourist hotel properties of Chairperson Yeo and also the tourist assets of the Samcheok City.
Also present at the welcome luncheon for the visiting ambassadors were former Korean Ambassador Cho Myung-haeng (to Nigeria and a number of other countries), Director-General Gong Byung-young of Ministry of Education Bureau of Education for Education, Security and Information, Chairman Do Yongbok of Saratoga Co. Ltd., and President Kim Ho-il of BS Today.
Shortly before the luncheon began, there were performances presented by noted Korean vocalist Tenor Kim Ji-Ho and traditional Korean dances by Korean Classic Music Maesto Mrs. Bong Bok-nam and a number of other Korean classic music performers of her troupe.
Star of the day, in the opinion of many Korean guests that day, was the cute little daughter of Ambassador and Mrs. Gongzalo Ortiz of Spain in Seoul.
In spite of the cool beach breezes, the summer heat was still there although the temperatures in the Samcheok and other East Coast regions of Korea were three or four degrees lower than other areas of Korea.
While adult guests hesitated to take any time out of the busy schedule, the cute young lady of Ambassador and Mrs. Ortiz quickly changed into her bathing suit and jumped into the water on the beautiful sandy beach and had her fill of the coolness of the waves on the beach.
However, the look of her satisfaction with the coolness in the water, obviously made all the guests forget the sizzling summer heat for a moment. It was pity that due to limited time no other guests could enjoy the coolness of the water on the beach.