2009.01.03: January 3, 2009: Headlines: Stephens: Figures: COS - Korea: Diplomacy: The Hankyoreh: U.S. ambassador Kathleen Stephens to visit museum of independence activist Kim Koo

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Korea: RPCV Kathleen Stephens, Ambassador to South Korea: Kathleen Stephens: Newest Stories: 2009.01.03: January 3, 2009: Headlines: Stephens: Figures: COS - Korea: Diplomacy: The Hankyoreh: U.S. ambassador Kathleen Stephens to visit museum of independence activist Kim Koo

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U.S. ambassador Kathleen Stephens to visit museum of independence activist Kim Koo

U.S. ambassador Kathleen Stephens to visit museum of independence activist Kim Koo

Stephens’ visit marks the first visit by a currently serving U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Korea since the opening of the Kim Koo Museum & Library in October 2002. Her visit to the museum is noteworthy in that it comes in the midst of a full-scale move by the New Right since the launching of the Lee Myung-bak administration to downplay Kim Koo and the Provisional Government and to praise former President Syngman Rhee as the “founder of the Republic.” But the U.S. Embassy in Seoul showed caution against any political interpretations. An embassy official said, “Ambassador Stephens’ visit to the Kim Koo Museum & Library is a personal visit, not an official visit as U.S. ambassador.” Since her appointment, Stephens has frequently used the weekends to visit art galleries and museums, and this visit is along the same lines, the official said. Kathleen Stephens, appointed US Ambassador to South Korea, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea.

U.S. ambassador Kathleen Stephens to visit museum of independence activist Kim Koo

U.S. ambassador to visit museum of independence activist Kim Koo
Museum visit is not official, but does come amidst New Right’s push to downplay Kim’s achievements

United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Kathleen Stephens is becoming the first currently serving U.S. ambassador to visit the Kim Koo Museum & Library.

Stephens will visit the Kim Koo Museum & Library in Seoul’s Hyochang-dong, Yongsan-gu, at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, talk with its director, Kim Koo’s son Kim Shin, and look at the records of the Provisional Government and memorabilia of Kim Koo on display at the museum, an official at the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs announced Friday.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Stephen W. Bosworth visited the museum twice, in 2002 and 2006, but these visits came after he had left his post as ambassador.


Stephens’ visit marks the first visit by a currently serving U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Korea since the opening of the Kim Koo Museum & Library in October 2002.

Her visit to the museum is noteworthy in that it comes in the midst of a full-scale move by the New Right since the launching of the Lee Myung-bak administration to downplay Kim Koo and the Provisional Government and to praise former President Syngman Rhee as the “founder of the Republic.”

But the U.S. Embassy in Seoul showed caution against any political interpretations. An embassy official said, “Ambassador Stephens’ visit to the Kim Koo Museum & Library is a personal visit, not an official visit as U.S. ambassador.” Since her appointment, Stephens has frequently used the weekends to visit art galleries and museums, and this visit is along the same lines, the official said.

An official at the museum also stated, “Ambassador Stephens will not be visiting to talk about pending issues related to Korean politics or society.” Her decision to visit on a Saturday afternoon, avoiding official duty hours, also appears to have resulted from concerns that too much might be read into her visit politically, the official said.

Stephens, who was active as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea in the 1970s, is known to have had a great deal of interest in Kim Koo and the activities of the Provisional Government in her ordinary life. A Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs official said that prior to her appointment as ambassador, Stephens attended a forum on Kim Koo held in April 2007 at the Korea Institute of Harvard University, her alma mater, and gave a presentation on the topic of South Korea-U.S. relations. “About a month ago, we were first contacted by Ambassador Stephens and told that she wanted to visit the Kim Koo Museum & Library. No special goal was expressed for the visit,” said the official.

As a souvenir for the ambassador’s visit, the museum is preparing a reproduction of a hand-written calligraphy work with the words “Hanmichinseon, Pyeongdeunghojo” (“Friendship Between the Korea and the United States, Equality and Mutual Aid,” made by Kim Koo on January 1, 1949.



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Headlines: January, 2009; RPCV Kathleen Stephens (South Korea); RPCV Kathleen Stephens (South Korea); Figures; Peace Corps Korea; Directory of Korea RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Korea RPCVs; Diplomacy





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Story Source: The Hankyoreh

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Stephens; Figures; COS - Korea; Diplomacy

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