By Feature Writers You Min-yul and Lee Ji-hyun
First Lady Madam Kim Kun-hee met with President Joe Biden of the United States at the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan near the former South Post of the U.S. Forces Command in Yongsan, Seoul. It was on the afternoon of May 18 shortly before the official dinner for the U.S. Head of Government.
At around 7 p.m. on that day, President Yoon Suk-yeol and First Lady Madam Kim Kun-hee greeted President Joe Biden at the entrance of the National Museum, venue of the Presidential dinner.
Clad in a white two-piece official lady’s wear, Madam exchanged a few short greetings with President Biden and walked into the museum for a view of the exhibits in the museum.
First Lady Madam Kim did not attend the dinner and other official events as President Biden was not accompanied by the U.S. First Lady.
First Lady Kim is largely told apart from many of her predecessors for her modest and well-mannered behavior.
For one thing, she always seems to be mindful of her attitude to help her husband free from undue favorable remarks from the public because of her conduct.
Madam Kim wears clothes purchased from ordinary makers and, in spite of her outstanding personality and beauty, he appears to be stay in low profile.
Many people agree that the First Lady was endowed with God-given beautiful and pleasing personality but that she tries not to overly let them be exposed to general public.
Here are excerpts from Wikipedia account of First Lady Madam Kim Kun-hee.
Madam Kim was born on Sept. 2, 1972, in Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province not very far from Seoul.
She attended Myungil Girls' High School before graduating from Kyonggi University with an art degree.
In 2009, Kim established Covana Contents, a company that specialized in art exhibitions and has been serving as the chief executive officer and president since then.
Kim married Yoon Suk-yeol in 2012. On March 10, 2022, upon her husband's election as President-elect of South Korea, Kim stated that she preferred the term president's spouse instead of the First Lady, a sign of her modesty.
“Do you know what I have in common with President Yoon Suk-yeol? Married to a really nice woman."
This compliment was reportedly delivered by U.S. President Joe Biden at a meeting with First Lady Kim Gun-hee before entering the summit welcome dinner at the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on May 21.
President Biden laughed, saying, "There is a saying in the United States, and President Yoon and I are 'married up' men."
Regarding this expression, an official from the presidential office explained, "Usually, men raise their wives while lowering themselves," adding, "It is a humorous meaning that they met and married a much better woman than a man."
President Biden also met with First Lady Kim for the first time and mentioned the "Mark Rothko Exhibition" that Mrs. Kim planned to exhibit in 2015.
President Biden said, "I am well aware that it is the first time that the National Museum of Art has lent paintings to Korea on a large scale."
President Biden said, "The common thing between President Yoon and me is that I married a really nice woman," referring to Mrs. Kim, who pointed out her hair in a white two-piece suit.
Even after Kim visited the museum together and left, President Biden reportedly mentioned Kim to President Yoon at the dinner table and repeatedly said, "Beautiful."
Biden's wife, Jill Biden, is the first First Lady to leave the White House and work full-time.
Jill Biden has been teaching English and writing at the school since her husband's election as the President.
According to the presidential office and Mrs. Kim's side, President Biden had a short meeting with Mrs. Kim and a dinner with President Yoon, sharing art and family stories.
Mrs. Kim plans to give a book of Mark Rothko to President Biden, who will leave Korea on May 22.
Usually, when a spouse of a foreign leader visits Korea together, a separate friendship schedule is prepared, such as exchange talks with the spouse of the Korean president, according to diplomatic practices. This time, Mrs. Kim did not attend events such as dinners because Mrs. Jill did not accompany.