World Ch. Schedule : TUE 07:35 KST
* Date : 2017-11-21
When it comes to the diplomatic arena, there are those who receive just as much attention as the world leaders themselves. The first ladies have now become the center of soft diplomacy. Korea's First Lady Kim Jung-sook, during her trip to Southeast Asia, was just as busy as President Moon Jae-in in his diplomacy super-week. During her trip to Southeast Asia, she took part in a taekwondo demonstration in Indonesia and visited a mural village in Vietnam. With each nation she visited, First Lady Melania Trump grabbed the attention of media through her fashion choices. She incorporated the traditional styles of each nation, and wore outfits that resembled them. As for the First Lady of China Peng Liyuan, she used her past experience as a singer to show what cultural diplomacy is all about. The first ladies took on many active roles in diplomacy, and we'll be discussing them further.
In the past, the first ladies merely played the role of a good wife. However, these days, the first ladies have become political partners of their spouses. A perfect example would be Michelle Obama, the wife of the 44th President of the U.S., Barack Obama. Showing both the supportive and humorous sides of her, Michelle Obama was even more popular than her husband. However, there have been instances where the first ladies found themselves in the middle of a scandal. This past March, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shizo Abe, Akie Abe, was involved in a massive school scandal, and the Abe administration's approval rating fell as a result. Also, French President Emmanuel Macron's wife, Brigitte, came under criticism from the French public over the ambiguity of her official state function. This week, the panels will discuss the role and influence of the first ladies.