Go to contents

[Diplomatic News] Ambassador to China Is a Singer As Well

[Diplomatic News] Ambassador to China Is a Singer As Well

Posted December. 02, 2005 07:02,   


Korean ambassador to China Kim Ha-jung’s singing and guitar playing fascinated a Chinese audience yesterday. He appeared on BTV’s nationwide hit talk show: “TV together with you” and attracted a Chinese audience by singing his favorite song: “Have I told you lately that I love you” in English, Korean, and Chinese.

BTV started airing its special talk show series: “Talks with Ambassadors to China” yesterday. Ambassador Kim, the first guest of the show, sang the song with a guitar at the request of the show host, who said, “I heard you were a great singer.”

It is an open secret that Kim is a talented singer. It was Kim who started a band called “Ecstas” (a Greek word meaning ecstasy), made up of four Seoul National University (SNU) College of Liberal Arts students. As a freshman, Kim played the lead-guitar after choosing two other guitar players and a drummer in late 1965. The band played mainly Beatles songs. However, not many people are aware of the story behind the song he sang yesterday, a Korean version of “Have I told you lately that I love you.” Kim loved the song by Patty Page so much that he translated it into Korean for himself to sing it in his band. The translator of the song is recorded as “anonymous” in Korean songbooks.

Kim, who studied Chinese language and literature at SNU, is widely recognized as a China expert. On the show, he shared with the Chinese audience stories about his life as a student and a diplomat, his relationship with China, and stories behind the establishment of diplomatic ties between Korea and China. He spoke fluent Chinese and stressed the significance of the bilateral ties.

Prior to the TV show, BTV awarded its most popular guest award to Kim in the Jintai Art Center in Beijing on November 30, with some 30 ambassadors to China and Chinese cultural and art industry workers in attendance.

Yoo-Seong Hwang yshwang@donga.com