By Kim Tae-gyu
WASHINGTON ― President Park Geun-hye's good command of foreign languages was helpful during and after her summit with U.S. President Barack Obama.
Following the summit, the two leaders held a joint press conference, and after the opening remarks from both sides were finished, they received questions from four journalists at the White House East Room, Tuesday (local time).
The first question came to Obama and, while he answered the query, Park took off her translation equipment and didn't put it on again during the half-hour press conference.
According to Cheong Wa Dae officials, she understood what Obama said and took the right timing to answer questions after him.
"Actually, the two leaders had a walk around for 10 minutes without an interpreter in the White House between the summit and a subsequent luncheon," Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se told reporters after the press conference.
One of his aides said that Park is perfect in understanding English and is able to make herself understood without difficulty.
"She is relatively fluent in English," said the aide who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to talk to the press.
"Sometimes she tells interpreters about their mistakes after meetings with high-profile figures."
On top of English, Park, who specialized in engineering at Sogang University, is also known to speak Spanish, and some Chinese and French.
"The command of various languages is good ammunition on the international diplomatic scene. If she greets diplomats or foreign political leaders in their language, the chances are that the meeting will create fruitful results for Korea," the aide said.