President Yoon Suk-yeol and first lady Kim Keon-hee on March 27 hosted a banquet for the heads of diplomatic missions abroad at Yeongbingwan, the guesthouse of Cheong Wa Dae.
Presidential spokesperson Lee Do-woon said in a news briefing that day, "The chiefs of overseas diplomatic missions who attended a conference of such heads from March 27-31 were invited to the banquet at Yeongbingwan of Cheong Wa Dae."
Approximately 200 officials attended the banquet including 166 ambassadors, consuls and appointees, ministers of relevant government branches, senior staff from the presidential office, the chairman and assistant administrators of the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee, and ambassadors at large.
This was the first invitational event for all heads of overseas diplomatic missions during the Yoon administration.
In his speech at the banquet, the president said, "We must unite our diplomatic capacities to find a breakthrough for complex crises," adding, "The role of diplomatic mission heads is vital as they are on the front line of diplomacy."
He cited "freedom" as the common denominator between national governance and diplomatic relations. "When countries that share the universal values of freedom, rule of law and human rights work in solidarity, we can maintain the international order based on rules," he said. "We must revive a trilateral summit among Korea, Japan and China to jointly work for peace and development in the region."
"Exports are crucial for our country, which pursues an open economy," he added.
To the mission heads, he said, "Please play the role of advanced base for exports with the mindset of Korea's leading sales representatives."
After the banquet, President Yoon was briefed by leading diplomatic officials specializing in economy, national security and consular affairs on their activities in their host countries. He applauded their hard work and asked them to make new resolutions using this meeting as an opportunity, the spokesperson said.