10 migrant wives invited to inauguration
By Kang Hyun-kyung
About 10 female marriage migrants are to join President-elect Park Geun-hye’s inauguration ceremony slated for Feb. 25.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said Friday that it submitted a list of candidates to the inauguration committee led by former Gangwon Province Governor Kim Jin-sun upon the committee’s request.
These women were recommended by non-profit group Multicultural Family Support Center. The center is dedicated to helping migrant spouses and their families. Barring any unforeseen hiccups, all the nominees will attend the ceremony in the square at the National Assembly in Seoul.
Asked who else will attend the inauguration, Kim said his team is working on the invitation list now.
“At the moment, I don’t have much to say about the participants,” Kim told The Korea Times over the phone. He declined to give further details.
Regarding foreign dignitaries, Governor General of Canada David Lloyd Jonston has reportedly expressed keen interest in attending the inauguration of Korea’s first female president.
Kim refused to confirm whether the information was true, saying he is unaware of it, and added that the schedules of foreign dignitaries tend to be subject to regular changes.
The Canadian Embassy in Seoul was unavailable for comment.
On Thursday, the transition team said President-elect Park had a phone conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper regarding the inauguration. Details of the discussion are not known.
Earlier the inauguration organizing committee announced that nearly 60,000 people will be invited to attend the ceremony with half of the invitations reserved for ordinary citizens.
During a meeting with the committee members after giving them certificates of appointment Thursday, Park asked them to make the most of the ceremony to upgrade the nation’s profile as the event will attract attention from foreign media.
The incoming president said the inauguration will provide an opportunity to promote Korea’s image abroad. She proposed that the team come up with ways to add to the beauty of traditional Korean culture and the nation’s cutting-edge information technology to help overseas audiences grasp them.
Kim said unity will be the theme of the ceremony. He said the committee will invite people from all walks of life to make sure it can foster a spirit of togetherness.
Five years ago, when Lee Myung-bak was sworn in as president on Feb. 25, the slogan was “servant leadership” which Lee stressed several times as the guiding principle for his government.
Foreign dignitaries, business leaders and citizens from all walks of life attended the event to celebrate the businessman-turned-president’s swearing in five years ago.
Among those invited to the inauguration ceremony were those born or who married on Feb. 25, people with the same name as the President and families of the victims of the West Sea naval clashes in 1999 and 2002.