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U.S. Ambassador to SKorea Blogs About Vacation Amid Tension with NKorea

10:39 AM, Apr 8, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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As tension rises between North Korea and America, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Sung Kim, went on a family vacation. The ambassador today shared his experience in a lengthy blog post.

"My daughters recently had off from school for spring break, and I planned to take a week off for a nice family vacation.  But as is often the case here on the Peninsula, my break was interrupted by important developments and urgent issues, so my week off turned into just one day," writes Kim.

"But finally, we decided to take a three-day weekend and drive down to Korea’s second largest city, Busan.  On the way, we stopped in Jinhae to see the cherry blossoms.  I was told that the official opening date for Jinhae’s famous Cherry Blossom Festival was actually this past Monday (April 1), so we were very excited to get a sneak preview.  The blossoms were stunning.  If you have never been down, I suggest you go.  It is like driving through a tunnel completely made of cherry blossoms."

Kim includes pictures of what appears to be his daughters, and writes, "So the vacation started just fine.  The girls didn’t complain about the long car ride, and Jinhae was great.  And we arrived in Busan ready for fun sightseeing and good food. The first night in Busan, we ate very fresh hwe, or raw fish, at a famous local restaurant.  My daughters would not let me eat anything that was still moving, but everything we did have was delicious."

But work got in the way of all the fun. "However, starting early that Saturday morning, as new threats started coming from North Korea, I got busy with work.  I had many calls and emails with Washington policymakers, senior South Korean officials, and U.S. Forces Korea.  My BlackBerry was very busy," he writes.

"Several of these calls happened when we were at Busan Aquarium.  Since it was a beautiful weekend morning, the aquarium was packed with happy (and loud) visitors, and it was very difficult to find a quiet place to talk.  At one point, I had to send my daughters to the aquarium gift shop and then find a somewhat secluded stairwell to take part in what I hoped would be a 10-minute conference call. Unfortunately, the call lasted 40 minutes."

He goes on to include pictures from the aquarium, of the food he ate, and of the family members who joined him.

He ends by asking readers to share with him their "favorite vaction spots."

"What are your favorite vacation spots in Korea?," writes Kim. "Please let me know in the comments, and I will be sure to read them."

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