On U.S. trip, S. Korea’s Park stays at Blair House | Inquirer News
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On U.S. trip, S. Korea’s Park stays at Blair House

/ 08:39 AM October 15, 2015
Obama Park

US President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye. AP AND AFP FILE PHOTOS

WASHINGTON—South Korean President Park Geun-hye will stay at the Blair House, a state guest house near the White House in the heart of Washington, during her four-day trip to the U.S., Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday.

READ: S. Korea’s Park seeks fresh momentum with Obama on N. Korea, alliance

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Amid growing interest over how Park will be treated during her “official working visit”—one level down from a “state visit”—the presidential office said the South Korean leader was invited to the house, calling it a barometer of how much Washington values having her here. The house, composed of four connected townhomes with more than 120 rooms, usually accommodates leaders on state visits to the U.S. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was on his first state visit to the U.S. last month, also stayed at the house.

It is not the first time for Park to stay at the house, which was where she laid her head during her first visit to Washington two years ago.

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The house has also accommodated other South Korean leaders in the past, including her father, the late former president Park Chung-hee in 1965. Referring to Park’s visit to the house, which came 48 years after her father’s, senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs Ju Chul-ki said the house “bridges the past and the future of the bilateral alliance between Korea and the U.S.”

Built as a private house in 1824, the Blair House was purchased by the U.S. government during World War II. It has welcomed visiting heads of state, ambassadors and other distinguished guests and served as an “essential part of American diplomacy,” according to representatives from the house.

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TAGS: Blair House, president park geun-hye, s. korea, trip, u.s.
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