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Close Look Into Blair House and Camp David

Posted April. 18, 2008 03:21,   


President Lee Myung-bak, who is visiting Washington, will stay at Blair House, the presidential guest house located across from the White House, on Wednesday and Thursday and at Camp David, the presidential mountain retreat in the state of Maryland, on Friday.

Blair House was built in 1824 by Dr. Joseph Lovell, the first Surgeon General of the United State. The U.S. government has been using the-then private residence to accommodate state guests after purchasing it in 1942. It consists of seven different areas, such as bedrooms, living rooms and studies.

The interior of the house is decorated with 52 antiques, including a 17th century Chinese folding screen, a 18th century European wares and a 19th century Venetian mirror. However, in contrast to the classic atmosphere of the building, Samsung’s new HDTVs can be found in the bedroom, the living room and the study of the VIP residence, which is reserved for foreign heads of state. The White House replaced existing Sony TVs with Samsung TVs in September 2006. Officials well-informed about the replacement say that the change was made partly in consideration of the then-upcoming U.S.-South Korea summit, but largely because Samsung’s technologies were highly evaluated.

The Lee Dining Room is the living history of the Korean War. In this very place, President Harry Truman decided to dispatch U.S. ground troops to Korea on June 30, 1950, and dismissed General Douglas MacArthur, the then commander of the U.S. armed forces in the Far East, for his insistence of continuing the war without seeking a truce, on April 11, 1951.

Unlike luxurious Blair House, Camp David, where President Lee will be the first Korean president to visit, is a simple, modest cabin, according to a group of Korean officials, who recently visited the bungalow for an on-site inspection in preparation for the summit. Some 10 small bungalows in the camp will also be used to accommodate about 15 presidential aides and body guards. The rest of the entourage will stay in a modern hotel located at the foot of Catoctin Mountain where Camp David is located.

Camp David is equipped with a variety of sports and leisure facilities, including a one-hole golf course, a horse riding club, a mountain bike course and a bowling alley. Although it is closed to the public, there is a souvenir store for entourage.

U.S. President George W. Bush plans to give a leather jacket embroidered with the U.S. presidential emblem to President Lee at Camp David.