In this third in a series of three videos on Korea at Grinnell, South Korean ambassador Han Duk-soo visits Grinnell.
On Sept. 7, 2011, Grinnell College welcomed Han Duk-soo, South Korean ambassador to the United States to the campus. He began his whirlwind tour of Iowa by meeting with Grinnell President Raynard S. Kington.
Is it part of your job to educate back there?
In the conference room of Nollen House, the two discussed various topics including the ambassador’s experiences and the College’s new strategic planning process.
They are always asking me why the progress is so slow in Washington. [laughs]
Following Kington’s welcome to Grinnell, Ambassador Han was given a brief tour of campus by Michelle Briggs ’13.
Later in the afternoon, he was able to sit down and chat with Korean students as well as some of the College’s Korean faculty on the second floor balcony in the Joe Rosenfield [’25] Center.
After dinner at President Kington’s house with members of Grinnell’s faculty, Han presented his lecture on Korea-U.S. relations in the 21st century to a full house in Room 101 of the Rosenfield Center.
His talk focused on the history of U.S.-Korean interactions as well as discussions on how best to move forward in an uncertain period of international politics and economics.
The United States and the Republic of Korea have enjoyed a close and mutually beneficial friendship for about 60 years. And that friendship — past, present, and future — is what I would like to focus on this evening.
Unfortunately, neither South Korea’s miraculous economic growth nor its deepening friendship with the United States has changed the fact that half the Korean peninsula is ruled by a dangerous, unpredictable regime that has nuclear weapons and regularly threatens to use them.
The United States has always been there for us, and Americans can always count on our being there for [the] United States. Thank you very much, and I would be happy to take any questions you may have. Thank you.
Following his lecture, Han fielded audience questions, which ranged from trade negotiations to issues between South and North Korea, as well as China’s growing involvement in global politics.
By being able to learn from Ambassador Han’s impressive experience and wealth of global knowledge, the Grinnell community was able to gain a great insight into the area of the globe that will undoubtedly become increasingly important in years to come.
The entire Grinnell community would like to thank His Excellency the Ambassador and all those who made his visit to Grinnell possible.