US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was given a Korean nickname by South Korean admirers as she visited the nation Monday for the inauguration of President Lee Myung-Bak.
Rice was nicknamed Ra I-su, meaning "a pear flower with surpassing beauty," said the Korea-US Alliance Friendship Society.
"In creating her Korean name, we hope that South Korea and the United States will strengthen their alliance and partnership," its head Seo Jin-Seob said after delivering a paper inscribed with her name to the US embassy.
Ra was derived from "Rice" while I means "pear flower" and Su means "supreme". Together they signify a faithful and upright public servant who is respected by allies, Seo was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.
The society has given nicknames to other high-profile Americans as a mark of friendship.
US ambassador Alexander Vershbow was named "Park Bo-woo," interpreted as "everlasting friend of Koreans like treasure."
General Burwell Bell, commander of US forces in South Korea, was nicknamed "Baek Bo-guk," meaning the "defender of the country."
Rice left South Korea Tuesday for Beijing on the second leg of a regional tour aimed at breaking an impasse in nuclear negotiations with North Korea, a US embassy spokesman said.
美国驻韩大使亚历山大•弗什博的韩语名是“Park Bo-woo”（朴宝友），翻译为“如珍宝般珍贵的、韩国人民永远的朋友”；驻韩美军司令波维尔•贝尔的昵称是“Baek Bo-guk”，意思是“国家的卫士”。