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President Roh Received 164 Gifts from Foreign Heads of State

President Roh Received 164 Gifts from Foreign Heads of State

Posted October. 15, 2005 07:52,   


After visiting 22 countries in the two years and eight months he has been in office, what kinds of gifts has President Roh Moo-hyun been given by foreign heads of state?

According to a document the Presidential Secretariat submitted to the Management Committee of the National Assembly on October 14, President Roh and First Lady Gwon Yang-sook have been given a total 164 presents from heads of state and dignitaries of host countries during their overseas visits.

In May 2003, President George W. Bush of the United States (U.S.) gave Roh speech scripts of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln during his visit to the U.S.. President Roh is known to be an admirer of Lincoln, and he wrote a book titled “Roh Moo-hyun meets Lincoln.”

During his state visit to China in July 2003, Roh was given a landscape picture of Diaoyutai by Chinese President Hu Jintao. When visiting Shanghai, he received a glass vase with the portrait of Kim Gu engraved on it.

When the President visited Japan in June 2003, Japanese Emperor Akihito gave him a piece of dish-shaped pottery that was accepted for the Japanese Traditional Art Craft Competition, and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi gave an incense jar. During his visit to Russia in September last year, President Roh received a hunting gun from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to the provisions of the Public Service Ethics Act, “Any gifts valued more than 100,000 won in current prices that public officials and their families receive from foreigners with regards to their duties are reverted to the national treasury,” All the gifts that the president receives from foreign heads of state are reverted to the national treasury and are currently kept in the National Folk Museum.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com