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County, City officials welcome new consul general of Korea; group pauses to remember victims of ferry tragedy
For the Reporter
King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer hosted a reception on Thursday for Moon Duk-ho, the newly-installed consul general of the Republic of Korea.
Moon was introduced to a gathering of 60 business, community and civic leaders from South King County, where he expressed his desire to strengthen economic and social ties between South Korea and the Pacific Northwest.
Attendees of the reception also paused for a moment of silence to reflect and remember the victims of Tuesday's ferry crash off the coast of South Korea.
"In the mid-20th century, the Atlantic Ocean was the world's economic center, and our leaders boasted of having a 'special relationship' with Great Britain," von Reichbauer said. "Today, the world's economic center lies in the Pacific Ocean, and that 'special relationship' status now extends to our friends in the Republic of Korea.
"It was an honor to meet Consul General Moon and introduce him to South King County leaders, and I look forward to developing our relationship as he continues to serve in Seattle."
Moon has been a diplomat since with Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade since 1987. He has served at the Korean embassies in France and Vietnam, and with Korean Consulates in New York City and Kurdistan, Iraq. He is also recognized by the United Nations as an expert on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He succeeds Song Young-wan as Consul General.
The Korean Consulate in Seattle is the primary diplomatic mission for Korean citizens and visitors in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. Korea is the fourth largest international trading partner of Washington state. Washington is also home to the fifth-largest Korean-American population in the U.S., more than 27,000 of whom live in King County.