Go to contents

APEC Summit’s Spouse Program

Posted November. 12, 2005 08:44,   


What will the spouses of 21 world leaders participating in the APEC forum do while their significant others attend official meetings?

While the heads of states are occupied, their spouses will participate in a separate spouse program. They will visit Beomeosa Temple in Busan and attend a luncheon at the Nurimaru House, which boasts a spectacular view of the sea. Then they will visit an exhibition titled, “Dressing Culture of the Joseon Dynasty” organized by Busan Museum on November 19.

The Spouse Program will be an all females club because the spouses of New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark (55) and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (58) said that they will not participate in the program.

Jose Arroyo, who is the husband of President Arroyo and an attorney, was involved with all kinds of corruption when illegal electioneering reports nearly forced President Arroyo to resign, and he will not be visiting Korea.

Helen Clark`s husband, Dr. Peter Davis, a sociologist and a professor of Oakland Medical School, has always actively supported his wife who denied following his surname and focused in politics in a quiet manner, and he will accompany his wife quietly this time as well.

While most of the heads of states will visit with their spouses, there are some who will visit unaccompanied. A case in point is Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. He never remarried since his divorce after four years of marriage. Also, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will be visiting alone as his wife died of breast cancer in this July. Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah (59) has two wives as polygamy is permitted in Brunei. His first wife, Anak Saleha will be accompanying him to Busan.

Jung-Ahn Kim credo@donga.com