US President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden hosted a state dinner at the White House last night for South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and First Lady Kim Keon Hee to mark the “70th anniversary of the US-Republic of Korea alliance which is critical to advancing peace, stability, and prosperity for [the] two countries, the Indo-Pacific, and around the world”.
As we all know, these events are geo-politically motivated. It is critical for the United States to maintain a strong and cooperative relationship with South Korea because of North Korea, no matter who happens to hold the office of the president in Seoul. I say this because President Yoon was elected to office last March after a highly controversial campaign during which he appealed to the growing anti-feminist movement in the country, running on a promise to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family despite the fact that South Korea continues to have the largest gender pay gap among OECD countries.
Controversy has followed President Yoon and also the First Lady since taking office. His administration was criticised over the handling of the Halloween stampede in Itaewon last fall and women’s rights groups continue to protest his policies. First Lady Kim Keon Hee has also had her share of controversies as she’s been accused of falsifying academic and business credentials and manipulating stocks. Please follow the links I’ve just included for more information about President Yoon and First Lady Kim’s controversial background.
The reason I’m talking about this is because Angelina Jolie was at the state dinner last night and seated next to First Lady Kim Keon Hee. We know that Angelina is well-informed and does her research. So now I’m wondering, as I’m looking at all the footage from the event last night, what her thoughts might be about the current South Korean administration given what we know of her values and the causes she supports. Not that she would ever share her thoughts, and not that she would ever be disrespectful, because remember this dinner wasn’t about President Yoon but about the Republic of Korea overall. As a source told PEOPLE:
"Asia-America relations are important to Angelina's family. She and the children have had close ties to the region, including South Korea, for many years. Maddox studied at Yonsei University in Seoul. Angelina has visited South Korea many times for her humanitarian and refugee advocacy over the past two decades, and as an artist. Angelina and Maddox are honored to attend this State Dinner."
Angelina and Maddox, then, were there to both represent the United States and honour the relationship between the US and the people of South Korea.
As for her outfit – it’s her own vintage Chanel, and it might be one of my favourite looks on her in a long time. The jacket is gorgeous. The whole look is timeliness and modern. Also her hair is lighter than it’s been in a while, right?
But also…Maddox! Excellent choice with the long coat. And his hair – it’s giving Bruce Lee but also Rain in the mid-2000s. If you’re unfamiliar, Rain is a Hallyu legend, one of the biggest idols in the history of the Korean entertainment system. As soon as I saw Maddox my mind went to Rain circa 2004. For those of you who know… am I right?!