There is a lot happening these days with Friends of Korea - a revisit with over 80 participants was one of the highlights of the year. For several of those former volunteers who were o this trip, this was their first time back to Korea in 35 or 40 years. You can imagine the surprises that awaited them.
In addition we had a wonderful annual meeting. Over 120 people gathered at the offices of The Korea Society in Manhattan, a beautiful venue, where they were treated to an afternoon of talks and tributes. The first speaker was Ambassador Cho Tae-yul, the representative of the Korean Mission to the United Nations. Ambassador Cho spoke about U.S. and Korean relations and the path forward to achieving ‘our shared dream of denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula.’
This was followed by a moving tribute to this year’s Kevin O’Donnell Distinguished Friend of Korea honoree – Mrs. Shim Oak Ja, a remarkable woman whose career has been devoted to promoting greater understanding and awareness between Americans and Koreans. Mrs. Shim had worked as a Peace Corps language teacher and administrator before joining the Korean-American Educational Commission (the Fulbright Program) where she interacted with and impacted the lives of thousands of teachers, researchers and scholars. Many of her admirers were in the audience – some having traveled quite a distance to see her and to thank her.
We continue to work closely with the Korean Consul Generals across the United States as they seek to introduce and celebrate Korean culture. There were events in Detroit, Seattle and Atlanta to which FoK members were invited.
What better gift than a membership in Friends of Korea for your friend, family member or colleague who is interested in all things Korean?