By Russell Berman - 04/23/13 08:33 PM EDT
The newly elected president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, will address a joint meeting of Congress next month, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Tuesday.
Park took office in February and is the first woman president of South Korea. Her address to members of the House and Senate will be closely watched in the wake of mounting tensions and bluster from North Korean leader Kim Jung Un.
“Given the North Korean regime’s recent provocative actions,” Boehner said in a statement, “President Park’s address to Congress will serve as a vital and timely reminder that Americans and South Koreans will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to preserve our hopes for peace and freedom.”
Park’s predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, spoke to a joint meeting in 2011 and was the last foreign leader to address Congress. Five other South Korean leaders have done so.