South Korean President Moon Jae-in (left) and US President Joe Biden hold a one-on-one meeting over lunch in Washington on Friday, in this photo captured from Biden's Twitter account. Maryland crab cakes were served as the main course, according to Moon's office. (Yonhap)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in's summit meetings with US President Joe Biden in Washington on Friday presented contrasting appearances from those held about a month ago between the leaders of the United States and Japan, officials said.
The most noteworthy differences were the length of the summit meetings and the lunch menu.
Moon and Biden held 171 minutes of one-on-one, small group and expanded summit meetings, about 20 minutes longer than the April 16 meetings between the US president and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
The Moon-Biden meetings continued about one hour longer than scheduled, and the South Korean leader stayed at the White House for five hours and 40 minutes in total.
The luncheon scene was also somewhat different.
In the one-on-one meeting held for 37 minutes over lunch, Maryland crab cakes were served as the main course, according to Chung Man-ho, Moon's senior secretary for public communication.
"The US side prepared Maryland crab cakes as the main lunch menu in consideration of President Moon's preference for seafood, and President Biden shared the same menu," said Chung.
It is believed that the US side may have given careful consideration to the summit lunch menu because crab cakes are a famous food among Americans and Moon's dietary preference was taken into account.
In contrast, burgers were served during a 20-minute, one-on-one meeting between Biden and Suga. The two leaders were seen in a photo sitting at either end of a two-meter-long rectangular table, and Suga didn't touch his burger. The lunch between Moon and Biden was about 17 minutes longer than the one between Biden and Suga.
In addition, Moon and Biden met without wearing a mask, whereas the US president wore a double mask as an extra precaution against COVID-19 during his meeting with Suga last month.
Earlier on May 13, the US authorities issued a new guideline saying fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask in most cases. Moon and Biden are both vaccinated.
"I am happy to have a meeting with President Biden, but I am really happy to have a meeting without wearing a mask for the first time," Moon said in his meeting with the US leader. (Joint Press Corps)