US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has noted the extraordinary contribution made by the current US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung on the 120th anniversary of the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to America.
Speaking a State luncheon in Washington held in honor of visiting Republic of Korea President Yoon Suk-Yeol, Blinken noted that Julie was just five years old when, in 1977, her family moved from Seoul to California.
“She didn’t speak a word of English. Her dad got a job on the drafting floor of an engineering company. Her mom worked nights washing dishes in a restaurant. Julie’s mom went on to become a librarian and a church deacon. Her dad later designed a heating system to prevent O-rings from freezing on space shuttles – that’s what had caused the Challenger explosion – allowing NASA to restart the space missions. And Julie joined the first cohort of Pickering fellows at the State Department, which encourages the service of historically underrepresented minorities,” he said.
The Secretary of State said that today, Julie’s dad’s engineering company is working on technology that will help the United States, Korea, and other partners who are joined in the Artemis Accord return astronauts to the Moon, including the first woman and first person of color. And Julie is the United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka.
“If these are the threads that are connecting the United States and Korea through a single family, just think how rich, how deep the ties are that are binding our nations together,” he said.
The Vice President of the United States of America Kamala D. Harris also attended the luncheon.
Source: Colombo Gazette