It was an honor to be recognized by South Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook on May 20 as part of the inauguration ceremonies for Korea.net Honorary Reporters.
Korea.net’s Honorary Reporters share their experiences with Korean culture write about the latest happenings. I joined as a reporter this year and wrote my first article about watching Korean Baseball Organization broadcasts on ESPN 2 in my hometown of the United States, where we currently do not have any sports being played.
First Lady Kim took note of my article, and those of other reporters, and mentioned it during her broadcast:
I send my heartfelt greetings to Korean.net Honorary Reporters. … It is all the more meaningful for me to be able to join all of Korea.net Honorary Reporters around the world in celebration. … Looking at the articles and photos uploaded on Korea.net, I have been moved by your love and enthusiasm for Korea. American reporter Mitchell Blatt said he stayed up until 3 a.m. over the weekend in Colorado to enjoy a KBO League baseball game, which was played even amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation. His report covered how epidemic prevention and daily life go on in Korea simultaneously.
The ceremony also introduced three new channels to Korea.net’s multi-media network.
First Lady Kim is a charming and beautiful first lady who is an excellent ambassador to Korea. She was given the nickname “Jolly Lady” during the 2017 presidential campaign, which her husband, Moon Jae-in, won.
Kim is a classically-trained singer who sang in the Seoul Metropolitan Chorus during the 1970’s and 80’s. As a democracy activist, she met Moon while protesting against the authoritarian Yushin regime. There, she cared for Moon after he got hit by tear gas.
As first lady, Kim has taken up the causes of anti-discrimination and social fairness. In an interview with The Korea Herald in 2017, she said,
I am willing to contribute to building a society where no single person falls victim to injustice or discrimination, but where everyone can have a voice and be respected as much as any other. My husband once said he aims to be a president who can head to Gwanghwamun on his way home from work to have some soju with the people. Like him, I would like to go shopping for groceries at Namdaemun Market (like everybody else). Going around the country from corner to corner since the 2012 election, I have listened to the concerns and advice of local residents. I have and will always keep myself close to the ordinary citizens as first lady.
She also takes a leading role in international diplomacy, promoting cultural exchange and peaceful relations between Korea and the world.
For example, she visited India during 2018 Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, and said, “I am happy to celebrate Diwali in Ayodhya. Two thousand years ago, the princess Suri Ratna of Ayodhya travelled to Korea, and married the prince there. The love and understanding between the two countries began from that time.”