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South Korean President Honored With State Dinner at White House

Aired October 14, 2011 - 04:00:00   ET


LUCAS ULLOQUE, CNN VIDEO JOURNALIST: (Speaking foreign language).

CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome. So is today`s introduction from Lucas Ulloque, who works here at CNN. You`re going to hear more from Lucas in a bit.

First up, though, we`re headed to the White House.

The building is, of course, home to the U.S. president. This week it played host to South Korea`s president as well. Lee Myung-bak made a state visit to the U.S. this week. The South Korean leader was the honored guest at a state dinner at the White House on Thursday.

These state dinners are pretty rare. They`re designed to show the importance of a country`s relationship with the United States.


AZUZ (voice-over): That was the same message that President Obama made, calling President Lee a good friend and partner. Earlier in the day, the two presidents held meetings on some issues facing both of their countries, and they talked about their excitement for a new trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea.


AZUZ: That agreement, one of three trade deals the U.S. Congress passed on Wednesday. The other two are with Colombia and Panama. The president and Republican leaders say these trade agreements will create thousands of jobs in the U.S. Some Democrats and workers` unions aren`t sure any new jobs are going to come out of this.


AZUZ (voice-over): Supporters also say the deals could increase American exports. When companies try to sell their products in a different country, they often have to pay a tariff. It`s an extra fee. For example, there`s an 8 percent tariff on American cars sold in South Korea. But under these new trade agreements, those fees would be phased out.


AZUZ: So in theory, this would make it easier to sell a U.S. car in South Korea. But as Paula Hancocks explains, for the auto industry, there could be some obstacles in making that theory a reality.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Chung Hansu (ph) bought his Chevrolet three years ago. Since then, he`s become a big fan of the U.S. car, even joining a local Chevrolet club.

HANCOCKS: The Korean market is an attractive one for the U.S., given the phenomenal explosion in car ownership here. Back in 1990, there were just over 3 million vehicles on the road. Twenty years later, there were almost 18 million. That`s an increase of more than 400 percent.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Environmental concerns could make some U.S. models undesirable in an increasingly green Korea. As part of the FTA agreement, South Korea agreed to lower its strict emission and safety requirements in some cases. Car design is also a factor.

SUH JIN-KYO, KLEP EXPERT (Speaking foreign language).

HANCOCKS (voice-over): One FTA expert tells me, "When Korean buy cars, they look for style, design and convenience. Big, powerful cars, like in the U.S. are not seen as stylish here. So I don`t expect a surge in demand for U.S. cars.

Korean car and auto parts companies declined to talk about the FTA, saying the topic was too sensitive. But Korea`s trade investment promotion agency, KOTRA, says they will benefit.

KOTRA says GM has hinted they will increase imports of auto parts to $1 billion from the current $700 million. And Ford predicts imports rising by over 20 percent in the next 10 years.

Korean cars are expected to travel well. But for now experts assume U.S. car fans like Chung (ph) could remain in the minority in Korea -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.



AZUZ (voice-over): On October 14th, back in 1066, William the Conqueror and his Norman forces won the Battle of Hastings. That ended the Anglo-Saxon phase of British history.

In 1947, U.S. Air Force Capt. Chuck Yeager piloted the X-1 rocket plane past 662 miles per hour. That made Yeager the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.

And in 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the American Civil Rights Movement. At the time, King was the youngest person ever to have gotten the award.


AZUZ: This Sunday, Dr. King is being honored with the official dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington.


AZUZ (voice-over): The memorial pays tribute to the life and work of the civil rights leader. It was supposed to be dedicated back in August, but that was postponed because of a hurricane.

At 7:00 pm Eastern on Sunday, CNN is airing a program called "Words that Changed a Nation." It looks at the personal writings of Dr. King. And, teachers, we have a curriculum guide that goes along with the special. It`s free. You`ll find it on our home page,



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Hudgins world history classes at Opelika Middle School in Opelika, Alabama.

What singer is known as the Queen of Salsa? You know what to do. Is it Celia Cruz, Selena, Gloria Estefan or Shakira? You`ve got three seconds, go.

Cuban singer Celia Cruz is considered the Queen of Salsa. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: Celia Cruz`s career and accomplishments have been an inspiration to other musicians, and to other Latinos like Lucas Ulloque, whom you heard a few minutes ago introduce today`s show.

Lucas is a video journalist here at CNN, and his family is from Cuba, like Cruz`s family. To wrap up our coverage of Hispanic Heritage Month, I talked with Lucas about how his culture has been part of his life.


ULLOQUE: My Hispanic heritage is something I`m really proud of. I`m in a group of people, I love speaking the language. It`s something that when I was a little boy, my mom instilled into me the values of hard work, you know, determination and just an overall work ethic to do the best that I could at anything.

And I think that comes from having parents who were immigrants, grandparents who were first generation. But I was born here, so I`ve kind of had all these advantages that my parents never had. So I feel like I take advantage of that. I was -- I felt like I had to do the best that I could in every facet of my life.

AZUZ: In your experience as a student, in your experience as a professional, have you ever sort of encountered any adversity that you felt was because of your race?

ULLOQUE: I remember when I went to school here, a lot of folks asked me where I was from, and I said my parents are Cuban. And they would ask me, what part of Mexico is that in? So that became very.

AZUZ: Geographically challenging as well.

ULLOQUE: Right, very geographically challenging. It was a chance for me to in -- kind of inform folks, you know. Mexico: connected to the United States. Cuba`s 90 miles away from Florida in the Caribbean.

I can route any camera into right here, into this monitor, and right in here, I have air.

AZUZ: How did your heritage influence your career choice?

ULLOQUE: I don`t know if it so much influenced my career choice. It made me realize, like I love people and I love talking to people. And I think the field of journalism is just incredible, because every day is different.

It was always something, when I saw on TV, I was like, you know, one day, I`m going to get there. And I did everything I could and, you know, I was a student, networking, networking, networking.

Here we come. Stand by.

And then I finally landed this job. And now I`m taking, you know, I`m trying to take advantage of it and, you know, put my best foot forward.

AZUZ: What advice do you have for young Hispanic Americans who are going through the school system now, kind of trying to get a feel for what they want to do with their lives?

ULLOQUE: What I would tell students is to apply, apply, apply to scholarships. Any kind of grants that you take advantage of, do that. Get involved in any kind of organizations on, you know, not on campus, in your high school, that kind of give you a leg up and kind of make you shine when someone reads your application.


AZUZ: On our blog, we asked for your suggestions on stopping bullying.


AZUZ (voice-over): Here`s what Caroline wrote: "Students need to actually start standing up for each other so it will catch on." They turn a blind eye when they see bullying because they think it wouldn`t be "cool" to intervene.

Moses says you have to stand up for yourself. "If you let bullies push you around, you`re gonna deal with them until you graduate."

Melody suggests telling a teacher at first. If that doesn`t work, she says you have to fight back.

In Deanna`s district there`s a hotline for people being bullied, and you can call in anonymously and report a problem. She says they`ve busted their school`s bullies this way.

From Randy, go with your gut feeling when you see bullying. You have to deal with it your whole life, so surround yourself with good people.

From Madison, students should stand up for the victim and not worry about what people think. Most likely everyone will be inspired that someone took charge against bullying.

And Lauren writes, "You should never do nothing." If you don`t take action, you`re as bad as the bully.


AZUZ: Well, before we go, we have for you an emotional moment for one U.S. soldier.


STAFF SGT. THERRON JOHNSON: Only a couple minutes away, and I don`t know what`s going to happen. I`m about to tear up right now as we speak.

AZUZ (voice-over): He`s feeling that way because that`s his daughter, Skyler (ph), in the red shirt. She has no idea her dad is behind the curtain. She thinks she`s in a spelling bee, and the word she has to spell is "sergeant."

Then, she turns around to see one. Her dad hasn`t been home from serving in Iraq since last Christmas, but we`re sure that Skyler`s (ph) very happy he`s home for a "spell." And on those excellent pictures are how we end the week. We hope you have a great weekend ahead. We will look forward to seeing you next Monday, when CNN Student News returns. I`m Carl Azuz.