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Posted at 03:25 PM ET, 01/09/2013

Cold front freezes fun at U.S. Embassy in Seoul


A ship is moored at a pier of the frozen Euiam Lake in the city of Chuncheon, northeast of Seoul, South Korea last week, as a cold wave swept the country. (YONHAP - EPA)
Think the air in Washington is a tad brisk? You’ll need more than mittens in Seoul, South Korea, where it’s been so cold that the U.S. embassy recently had to postpone its annual Christmas tree bonfire.

The event is a social one at which embassy families burn their past-prime Christmas trees, but sadly, it’s been put on ice because of a record cold front that’s brought bone-chilling temperatures. While it was a relatively toasty 25 degrees Wednesday, the mercury last week dipped as low as 2 degrees.

Clearly, not a post for the faint of heart.

“Due to forecasted extremely cold temperatures, the Bonfire of the Christmas Trees has been postponed,” read an e-mail last week breaking the news to embassy employees. “You can still drop off your trees at the firepit on the T-ball field at any time. We will announce the new bonfire date next week.”

Leslie Bassett, the deputy chief of mission in Seoul, tells us the event will happen once the temps rise a bit. And she included this diplomatic pun: “While temperatures in Seoul may be frigid, relations between the United States and the Republic of Korea continue to be decidedly warm in 2013 as we celebrate 60 years of partnership and shared prosperity.”

By  |  03:25 PM ET, 01/09/2013

 
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