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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 12, 1957

LETTER NO. 103 FROM THE PRESIDENT (SYNGMAN RHEE) TO MINISTER DUK SHIN CHOI

This document was made possible with support from the Syngman Rhee Institute, Yonsei University

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    President Rhee briefly responds to Choi's report, discussing Vietnam-Korea cultural exchange and the SEATO war maneuvers in Thailand.
    "Letter No. 103 from the President (Syngman Rhee) to Minister Duk Shin Choi," December 12, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, B-334-009, The Korean Legation in Vietnam, Reports from the Korean Mission to the United Nations and Republic of Korea Embassies and Legations, Syngman Rhee Institute, Yonsei University. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121039
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December 12, 1957

No. 103

To: Minister Duk Shin Choi, Saigon

From: The President

I think it is very important that you help in a quiet way the establishment or a Vietnamese-Korean cultural association. Once in a while you might have to give a tea or show some slides or provide some form of entertainment in order to keep up the interest of the people of Vietnam. I have just learned that Korean Broadcasting Station has made a recording of Korean songs and popular music of the past thirty years and copies will be made for distribution to our missions abroad. I am sure the Vietnamese people will be interested to hear our songs.

There is also a foreign language school in Seoul but they teach only English, French and German and not Asiatic languages. I will find out if the school would not be interested in a course in Vietnamese. I would like your opinion as to whether or not one of your staff members should learn the Vietnamese language as the Foreign Ministry as very few personnel who are trained in foreign languages.

I am glad you gave a garden party for our students who attend the Korean language class. We have to do all we can to encourage them and it would be a good idea to give them some of our calendars. Please let me know how many you will need and I will try to send them to you as soon as possible.

As Thailand is the host nation to the SEATO war maneuvers, I wish you would quietly ask the Thai representative whether his government would invite Korea as an observer. If not we will have to ask the American government to extend the invitation but I believe it would be more appropriate for you to do it.

I want to thank you also for the photographs of you and Mrs. Choi giving the doll to the Vietnamese girl.

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