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First lady to treat Trump couple with personally made refreshments

All Headlines 11:38 November 07, 2017

SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook will serve traditional refreshments, prepared in person through weeks of extreme care, to visiting U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump at teatime after summit talks at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday, a presidential official said.

President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to have teatime with Trump right after their talks, along with their wives, at Sanchunjae, a wooden traditional Korean house inside Cheong Wa Dae. Trump will come to Seoul for a two-day state visit later in the day.

The refreshments for the reception are reportedly chocolate-coated dried persimmons, called "gotgam" in Korean, and herb tea, dubbed "Serene Morning of PyeongChang." PyeongChang is an alpine town in South Korea and venue for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games.

To make gotgam, Kim picked persimmons in person from trees inside Cheong Wa Dae weeks ago, and hung them to dry them under the eaves of the presidential residence, the official said. In Korea, gotgam, which requires more than a month to make, is traditionally used as a refreshment or as an ingredient in other foods.

The presidential office posted a photo of the first lady reading a newspaper under the hanging persimmons on its Instagram account Saturday.

This photo, captured from the presidential office's Instagram account, shows first lady Kim Jung-sook reading a newspaper under persimmons hung to dry at the presidential office in Seoul. It was posted Nov. 4, 2017. (Yonhap)

"First lady Kim has personally been making gotgam for weeks for President Trump and his wife. She put her whole mind to the refreshment in order to treat them with the highest respect," the official said.

Kim made "gotgam ssam" by inserting walnuts into dried persimmons and then coating them with chocolate with the help of an expert, the official said.

"'Serene Morning of PyeongChang,' which is made by blending hydrangea from the 700-meter-high Mount Balwang in PyeongChang with Western and Oriental herbs, bears a wish to make the steadfast South Korea-U.S. alliance last long," the official added.

Kim, who is good at cooking, has often served her own dishes to important guests.

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