U.S. envoy to attend Park’s inauguration ceremony

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U.S. envoy to attend Park’s inauguration ceremony

Washington’s National Security Council Advisor Thomas Donilon will attend President-elect Park Geun-hye’s inauguration ceremony scheduled for later this month as a special envoy sent by United States President Barack Obama, Representative Lee Hahn-koo of the ruling Saenuri Party said yesterday.

“Considering the importance of the Korea-U.S. alliance, President Obama has decided to send NSC chief Donilon as special envoy,” Lee told reporters yesterday.

He added that during Donilon’s visit, the two countries will discuss a possible time for the president-elect to visit Washington for a summit.

“There was a notification [from the U.S. side] that they want a [summit] to be held as quickly as possible,” he said.

The lawmaker’s remarks were made after he visited Washington last week as a special envoy sent by Park. He was accompanied by other members of the transition team and government officials including Representative Lee Chung-min and Hong Yong-pyo, foreign policy experts of Park’s transition team.

The high-level delegation met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, and Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations.

“We secured understanding from the U.S. on the new [South Korea] administration’s domestic and foreign policy directions and also enhanced a consensus on developing a 21st century comprehensive strategic alliance between the two countries,” Lee said.

By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]
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