Obama may visit local university: report
By Kim Young-jin
U.S. President Barack Obama, who has frequently praised the local education system, could meet with students here when he visits Seoul for the Nuclear Security Summit later this month, reports said Friday.
A local daily cited the U.S. State Department and other sources who said Obama had set aside time during the March 26 to 27 summit to visit Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS). It said details of the visit were not disclosed for security reasons.
A HUFS official could not confirm the report.
The report said the idea to visit students here came directly from Obama.
The U.S. President has not been shy about his admiration for Korea’s passion for education, which has coincided with the country’s economic boom in recent decades, noting teachers are known as “nation builders” here.
He often cites the Korean system when calling for longer school days and expanded after-school programs in his country.
Obama, who has overseen a heyday in bilateral relations along with President Lee Myung-bak, will be one of more than 50 leaders of countries or international organizations to convene in Seoul for the second global nuclear summit after hosting the inaugural event in 2010.
That Obama pushed for Seoul to host the event was seen as a sign of the tight relations. The event will focus on ways to safeguard atomic material worldwide and prevent acts of nuclear terrorism
The report said HUFS was chosen for its reputation as a leading foreign language school and its emphasis on a global mindset. It added that the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement and opportunities between the allies could be topics of conversation.