Two of South Korea’s most internationally renowned figures, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and “Gangnam Style” rapper Psy, met at the United Nations in New York. The two bantered — in English — about the fame they’d garnered for their homeland.
“I’m a bit jealous. Until two days ago someone told me I am the most famous Korean in the world. Now I have to relinquish. I have no regrets,” Ban joked. Psy, underscoring the mutual admiration, shot back, “So now you have first and second famous Korean in the same building.” Of course, neither mentioned North Korean leader Kim Jong Eun or his recently deceased father, who are arguably as or more famous, though I’ve rarely heard South Koreans qualify the “South” when referencing their nationality.
This was their first meeting; but, for Ban, it was the culmination of months of publicly praising his younger co-national. Here are some of the U.N. leader’s most effusive quotes about Ban, overlaid on photos from their meeting Tuesday. To be clear, the majority of these quotes are not from their meeting this week — Ban has been talking up Psy for some time — and are included with these photos just as an illustration. (All photos are credit Stan Honda at AFP/Getty Images.)