U.S. first lady Laura Bush, traveling alongside the president on a trip through Asia, says being married to a head of state grants to you automatic entry to one of the world's most exclusive social groups.
"Really, I think all the spouses of leaders feel like we're sort of in the same club, if you know what I mean," Mrs. Bush said in an interview with South Korea's Yonhap news agency. The White House released a transcript on Sunday.
The Bushes were in the historic South Korean port city of Busan last week for the annual summit of the 21 leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
While U.S. President George W. Bush addressed issues such as North Korea's nuclear weapons ambitions, stalled global trade talks and the threat of a human flu pandemic, Mrs. Bush joined the other leaders' spouses in more cultural pursuits.
The spouses visited a temple, then had lunch together before touring an exhibit of traditional Korean clothes and flowers made of silk. They donned ball gowns and joined their other halves at APEC's glittering official dinner on Friday night.
Similar social engagements including taking tea with the wives of Mongolia's leaders are expected to occur on the final stops on the Bushes' trip, in China and Mongolia.
But it's not easy being married to a world leader, and the air of responsibility and the strains of constant media attention breed a certain camaraderie, Mrs. Bush said.
"We all face the same challenges the challenges of family life in public life, of trying to do the very best we can for our country, being the most constructive we can with the issues that we work on for each of our countries," Mrs. Bush said of the APEC spouses.
"So there's really sort of a natural friendship between the spouses, all of the spouses," she said, reported AP. P.T.