SEATTLE (AP) — South Korean President Lee Myung-bak arrived in Seattle on Thursday, Sept. 22, for a two-day visit.
He was greeted on a red carpet at Sea-Tac Airport by Gov. Chris Gregoire, as a Washington State Patrol honor guard carried U.S., South Korea, and Washington flags and the University of Washington marching band played.
“I’m proud to welcome President Lee to the great state of Washington,” Gregoire said in a press release. “Washington state and the Republic of Korea have a long and proud relationship with important cultural and economic ties. Our state is home to more than 60,000 Korean Americans and thousands of Korean students and employees of Korean companies.”
Other than meeting with the governor, officials did not disclose an agenda for his visit to the city known for its Boeing and Microsoft connections. However, The Korea Times reported that Lee did meet with Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
They reportedly spoke of measures to boost cooperative ties between the Korean government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was their third meeting since Gates visited South Korea in May 2008.
Lee, who took office in 2008, was in New York the day prior for the annual opening of the new U.N. General Assembly. Prior to assuming office, Lee was CEO of Hyundai Engineering and Construction and mayor of Seoul. (end)
Northwest Asian Weekly contributed to this report.