U.S. hosts state dinner for South Korea

April 26, 2023
White House lit up at night

… we welcome the President and Mrs. Kim, honoring the 70 years of our alliances with symbols and moments of beauty that reflect both our countries.

First lady Jill Biden speaking about the White House state dinner planned for Wednesday. The black-tie dinner for South Korea will feature crabcakes, braised beef short ribs with grits, and deconstructed banana splits.

Why It Matters: The White House is hosting a state dinner for South Korea to honor the two nations' 70th anniversary of becoming allies. State dinners date back to 1874 when President Ulysses Grant hosted the King of the Kingdom of Hawai'i.

Did You Know?

  • In late January, the Department of Defense reported that nearly 30,000 U.S. service members are stationed in South Korea, who work regularly with South Korean military members.
  • The Korean War (1950-1953) emerged when North Korea invaded South Korea. The United Nations – including U.S. troops – fought for South Korea, and nearly 37,000 U.S. troops died in the war. At the end of the war, the U.S. and South Korea signed a Mutual Defense Treaty, which the State Dept. explains is "the foundation of a comprehensive alliance that endures today."
  • On Wednesday, the White House is expected to announce that the U.S. will dock nuclear-armed submarines in South Korea for the first time in 40+ years. The move comes amid growing concerns regarding North Korea's nuclear weapons, and as the country has been increasingly test-firing missiles.

Crabcakes, ribs, banana splits for S. Korea state dinner (The Associated Press)

US to send nuclear ballistic submarines to Korean Peninsula (The Associated Press)

History of State Dinners at the White House (White House History)

by Jenna Lee,