Issue #02 May 15 2013
Embassy of the Republic of Korea
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Celebrating the 50th
Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations
between Korea and Canada
From the Ambassador's Desk
Since the release of our first Embassy Express newsletter just a few weeks ago, I participated in two very notable and touching occasions, which reminded me of just how close Korea and Canada have come over the past 60 years.
On May 6th, I had the opportunity to meet a group of remarkable Korean War Veterans in Kingston, Ontario and present them with Korea's "Ambassador for Peace"
medal. This special token conveys Korea's profound gratitude for the service they performed in restoring our nation's peace and preserving its freedom. In this way, the Korean people continue to honour the invaluable sacrifices and tremendous contributions of Canada's Korean War Veterans, who selflessly and unquestioningly answered the call to defend a country they never knew, and a people they never met.
Following the awarding ceremony, I was privileged to speak with the Veterans on a personal level about their experiences in Korea and was incredibly moved to hear that they remain, after six decades, immensely proud of their role in defending freedom and democracy on the Korean peninsula. Since its end, many of these Veterans have witnessed the development of substantial bilateral relations between our two countries, along with the rapid rise of Korea in the international community. Without a doubt, these Korean War Veterans helped make this extraordinary transformation possible.
I was also especially moved when meeting the sons, daughters, and grandchildren of the Veterans, who expressed their overwhelming admiration and respect for their parents' and grandparents' achievements during the Korean War.
Before returning to Ottawa, I wished these vibrant and spirited men and women, who played such an instrumental role in shaping my country, their continued good health so that they may continue-on to one day see the foundation of a democratically unified Korean Peninsula.
Similarly, I was pleased to meet with the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans' Affairs, on his return from a trip to South Korea with the Korean War
Veterans, in commemoration of the 'Year of the Korean War Veteran' in Canada. As always, Minister Blaney shared his very insightful and heartfelt sentiments regarding Korea-Canada relations.
From his first visit to Korea, Minister Blaney noted that Canadians are still recognized and supported among our people, both young and old, for their efforts during the Korean War. He also became acutely aware of the increasing importance that Koreans place on our 'Special Partnership' and the possibility for an even greater level of cooperation and exchange between our two countries. Furthermore, after visiting the demilitarized zone, Minister Blaney remarked that despite North Korea's continued provocations, he found the frontier to be safe and secure, and Korean society to be stable and calm.
Finally, after his tour of Gangnam, Minister Blaney expressed to me his eye-opening realization of Korea's remarkable transformation in just 60 short years, from a war-torn country to a full-fledged democracy, an influential Middle Power, and the 15th largest economy in the world. He also thanked me for giving him Psy's album when we first met last September, as he now understands the reality and significance of 'Gangnam Style'. Indeed, based on his experience, we agreed that "seeing something once is better than hearing about it a thousand times".
So, along these same lines, I urge all of my Canadian friends to visit Korea, explore our cities, taste our food, listen to our music, and see for yourself what the real 'Gangnam Style' is all about.
Presidential Activity: Korea-U.S. Joint Declaration Opens a New Era of Hope
For six decades, the ROK-U.S. Alliance has served as an anchor for stability, security, and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, in the Asia-Pacific region, and increasingly around the world. President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea and President Barack Obama of the United States of America, meeting in Washington, D.C. on May 7, 2013, present this Joint Declaration in celebration of sixty years of bilateral partnership and shared prosperity.
Presidential Activity: Address by President Park Geun-Hye to the joint Session of the United States Congress
The Demilitarized Zone must live up to its name, a zone that strengthens the peace not undermines it. It is with this vision in mind that I hope to work toward an international park inside the DMZ. It will be a park that sends a message of peace to all of humanity.
This could be pursued in parallel with my Trust-building Process. There, I believe we can start to grow peace - to grow trust. It would be a zone of peace bringing together not just Koreans separated by a military line, but also the citizens of the world. I call on America and the global community to join us in seeking the promise of a new day.
Korea-Canada Bilateral Relations: Foreign Minister Yun Byung- se Requests Support for the ROK’s Bid to Join the Arctic Council as a Permanent Observer
Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se had a telephone conversation with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird on the evening of May 2. They discussed ways to strengthen the relations between the Republic of Korea and Canada, the ROK's bid to gain a permanent observer status of the Arctic Council and ways to work together at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Korea-Canada Bilateral Relations: The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and
Multiculturalism, issues statement on Asian Heritage Month
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. Canadians were some of the principal combatants in the Korean War. Our heavy contribution to the war effort, in the words of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, “forever solidified the friendship between our two great nations.” This year is also the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Republic of Korea - otherwise known as South Korea.
Korea-Canada Bilateral Relations: The Korean population in Canada
Statistics Canada released its National Household Survey for 2011, which collected social and economic data about the Canadian population. New data from the Survey showed that Canada was home to about 6.8 million foreign-born individuals in 2011.
They represented 20.6% of the total population, compared with 19.8% in the 2006 Census. The country's immigrant population, the ethnic backgrounds of its people, its visible minority population, and its linguistic and religious diversity showed that Canada is an ethnocultural mosaic. Specifically, the Korean population was among the top 10 largest visible minority groups in Canada. Korea was also among the top 10 countries of birth for new immigrants.
Embassy Activities: Korea Week to be proclaimed by the City of Ottawa
In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Korea-Canada Diplomatic Relations and the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the City of Ottawa will officially announce the launch of "Korea Week" from Tuesday, June 25 to Monday, July 1, 2013.
Government Statements: Ministry of Unification
Released Friday, May 14, 2013
Unification Spokesperson's statement regarding Inter-Korean working-level talks on the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC): The government of the Republic of Korea proposes working-level inter-Korean talks with North Korea to discuss the transportation of raw materials and finished products to the South from the GIC under the recognition that an effort must be made between South and North Korea to ease the difficulties confronted by the GIC tenant companies.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Embassy Speakers Series
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea cordially invites you to the third Embassy Speakers Series seminar on Thursday, May 16th in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Korea-Canada diplomatic relations.
Our distinguished guest speaker, Mr. Paul Heinbecker, former Canadian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, will be remarking on Constructive Powers Diplomacy, with specific emphasis on Canada and Korea.
Korean Movie Night
In celebration of the 'Year of Korea in Canada', the Embassy of the Republic of Korea will host its 8th Monthly Korean Movie Screening on Thursday, April 23 at the Korean Embassy Auditorium.
Inquiries can be made to 613-244-5053 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ambassador's Cup: Tae E. Lee Taekwondo Championships
In celebration of the 'Year of Korea in Canada,' the Embassy will play host to the Ambassador's Cup at the Tae E. Lee Taekwondo Championships. This event will also celebrate the contributions and achievements of Grandmaster Tae-Eun Lee, Goodwill Ambassador of Korea.
SNAP SHOTS: IN THE LIFE OF THE AMBASSADOR
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2013 Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Canada