WASHINGTON (AP) _ Back when Bill Clinton was still the little-known governor of a small southern state, Kim Dae-jung was just an exiled Korean activist making a pest of himself to U.S. officials in Washington.

The two men showed how far they've come Tuesday with a state dinner for the South Korean president that celebrated U.S.-Korean ties and the arrival of the summer social season at the White House.

Towering columns of pink and white begonias welcomed White House visitors to the Grand Foyer, and the dinner menu and color scheme were strictly summer. Mauve silk tablecloths and soft lavender roses gave a warm, soft feel to the East Room, where Korean-American soprano Hei-Kyung Hong was entertaining guests after dinner.

South Korea's president showed his regard for Clinton by doing his own Korean calligraphy on a wall hanging for the president carrying the thought: ``We should respect heaven and love people.'' The Clintons' gifts to Kim and his wife included a Tiffany hand-crafted sterling silver cache pot with an etched border inspired by a cornice found in the East Room.

In keeping with the evening's summer theme, the dinner menu featured Hood River spotted prawns flown in from the year's first catch in Oregon, and ``micro-greens'' that included the tiniest sprouts that chef Walter Scheib could scare up.

``We've tried to find some things that are just starting to happen,'' Scheib explained. The only thing old, he added, was the dressing of 25-year-old sherry.

The main course was honey-ginger glazed lamb, evoking flavors of Korea.

For dessert, pastry chef Roland Mesnier constructed murals of white chocolate depicting a Korean mountain scene to serve as a backdrop for peaches made of sorbet, and fresh raspberries.