UPDATE : 2018.9.22 SAT 05:13
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Ambassadors hear latest developments in Korea surrounding President ParkAt a luncheon co-hosted by Gracia Hotel, The Korea Post media

Chairperson Yeo Mung-jou of Gracia Boutique Hotel hosted a luncheon with The Korea Post media for the ambassadors of eleven different countries at the plush Seasons European Restaurant at the Millellnium Seoul Hilton on Feb. 24, 2017.

From Left: Ambassadors Yusuf Sharifrzoda of Tajikistan, Sarun Charoensuwan of Thailand, Thura Thet Oo Maung of Myanmar, Petar Andonov of Bulgaria and Petris Varivars of Latvia; Chairperson Yeo Mung-jou of Gracia Boutique Hotel; Ambassadors Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia, Mihai Ciompec of Romania, Zoran Kazazovic of Serbia and Ceferino Valdez of Paraguay; and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media.

Chairperson Yeo wanted to impress the ambassadors that, with her hospitality industry properties on the East Coast, more than welcomed all the ambassadors and their families, as well as the visiting VIPs from their countries, to use her facilities, especially during the summer season.
She had a good point. She had wanted to impress the ambassadors that the distance from Seoul to the East Coast now was ‘nothing’ because a new express was going to be dedicated in upcoming June substantially slashing off the traveling time from Seoul to her properties in Samcheok!
Perhaps, she had more in mind to ‘sell’ her property, a five-story building, in front of the Rear Gate of the Presidential Mansion of Cheong Wa Dae. She had purchased the property about a year ago with a mind to rent it to one of the embassies who want to be near the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Korea.

Sitting around the table, clockwise from left, are, Ambassadors Petris Varivars of Latvia, Milan Lajciak of Slovakia, Zoran Kazazovic of Serbia, Ceferino Valdez of Paraguay, Sarun Charoensuwan of Thailand and Thura Thet Oo Maung of Myanmar; Chairperson Yeo Mung-jou of Gracia Boutique Hotel; Ambassadors Yusuf Sharifrzoda of Tajikistan and Mihai Ciompec of Romaia; Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media; and Ambassador Petar Andonov of Bulgaria.

One might ask about the Presidential security people who might possibly make themselves a nuisance when the visitors wanted to have free and comfortable access to the property. Right at this time when the country is still under some remnant influence of the discredited President who is very mindful of her personal security, they may have a measure of justification.
However, with the new President coming in (very soon), and thereafter, one might safely remain assured that there would be no such problem. This because there were no precedents and very seldom would there be one in the future.
‘Big’ embassies might find it a bit too small, but others might consider it adequate and rent it if uncontested proximity to the Presidential Mansion of Cheong Wa Dae is an advantage.

From Left: Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media, Ambassadors Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Petris Varivars of Latvia, Milan Lajciak of Slovakia and Zoran Kazazovic of Serbia.

The co-host, The Korea Post media, wanted to boast to the ambassadors how the editors and reporters were nimble and hard-working to help the ambassadors and diplomats keep themselves abreast of the times—especially at this time when the President might quit at any moment and on any day due to her plummeting popularity among the people due to an unreliable friend who reportedly took the law into her own hands and wielded the Presidential power more than the President herself. Anyway, thanks to the ‘friend,’ President Park now faces an impeachment within a week or so.
Chairperson Yeo of the Gracia Hotel, the way She spoke to the guests through an interpreter, was obviously a very warm-hearted person in nature and had a great measure of sympathy for the ill-fated President Park Geun-hye. Ms. Yeo went to great lengths in defense of President Park, obviously out of sympathy for her as a person of the same gender. Or is this true? Anyhow, like any kind-hearted person, she did as much as she could to keep President Park from being spoken about in an unfavorable perspective.

Seated, Facing the camera, from left; Ambassadors Sarun Charoensuwan of Thailand and Thura Thet Oo Maung of Myanmar; Chairperson Yeo Mung-jou of Gracia Bouttiuqe Hotel; Ambassadors Yusuf Sharifrzoda of Tajikistan and Mihai Ciompec of Romania.

All the same, most of the ambassadors present appeared to be correctly understanding and assessing the current situation in Korea in spite of the obvious existence of language barrier between their country and Korean.
Even at this time, it is not clear whether President Park will leave Cheong Wa Dae from her own free will or, otherwise, suffer the disgrace of being escorted to prison.
On her part, it appears that she has plans and can wade through the situation—possibly by seeing the Special Prosecutors running out of their time and leaving the job without having fulfilled their mission, dismissal of the President and other legal actions on her.

General Manager Eric Swanson of the Millennium Seoul Hilton (right) poses with the host, Chairperson Yeo Mung-jou of Gracia Bouttiuqe Hotel.

Attending the luncheon that day from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps were Ambassadors
Mohamed Ali Nafti, Zoran Kazazovic of Serbia, Milan Lajciak of Solovakia, Ceferino Valdez of Paraguay, Petris Varivars of Latvia, Thura Thet Oo Maung of Myanmar, Sarun Charoensuwan of Thailand, Ysuf Sharifrzoda of Tajikistan, Mihai Ciompec of Romaia, Charge d’Affaires Dr. Joelle Hivonnet of the European Union.

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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