Issue #15 Dec 2 2013
Embassy of the Republic of Korea
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Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations
between Korea and Canada
Korea, Canada hold 14th FTA Negotiations
Korea and Canada resumed negotiations to conclude a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), holding their 14th round of talks in Seoul from November 25th to November 29th.
Choi Kyung-lim, Deputy Minister for Trade, represented the Korean side while Ian Burney, Assistant Deputy Minister for Trade Policy and Negotiations, led the Canadian delegation. The two sides sought to settle the remaining differences, which stalled negotiations in the past. Negotiations were first launched in July 2005.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, Yoon Sang-jick, participates in Korea-Canada Natural Gas Forum with B.C. Premier Christy Clark
The Korea-Canada Natural Gas Forum, co-hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea, and British Columbia's Ministry of International Trade and Ministry of Natural Gas Development, was held on Friday, November 29th. Forum participants, including Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jick and Premier of British Columbia Christy Clark, discussed the future of Korea-Canada cooperation in liquefied natural gas development in British Columbia and outlined the two countries’ natural gas priorities and projects.
Minister Yoon Sang-Jick addressed the attendees with a speech, as well as Sohn Yang-hoon, president of Korea Energy Economics Institute; Tom Sigurdson, executive director, BC and Yukon Building and Construction Trades Council; and Ellis Ross, chair of the
Aboriginal Business and Investment Council and chief councillor of the Haisla Nation, which is involved in a variety of LNG projects in the Kitimat area.
Vice Minister of the Ministry of National Defence, Baek Seung-joo, attends the Halifax International Security Forum
The Vice Minister of the Ministry of National Defence, Baek Seung- joo, attended the fifth Halifax International Security Forum held in Canada from November 22nd to the 24th.
The Forum, which has been held annually since 2009, is the largest international security forum in North America. This year, the forum was co-conducted by Canadian Defense Minister Robert Nicolson and U.S. Senator John McCain, and there were around 300 attendees, such as defense and diplomacy ministers and vice ministers, military dignitaries, and academic security experts from 50 countries, including North America, Europe and Northeast Asia.
Vice Minister Baek participated in discussions surrounding regional security and facilitated defense exchange cooperation through bilateral talks with participating nations including Canada, the UK, Turkey and Chile.
4th Constructive Powers Initiative Meeting
The Korea National Diplomatic Academy’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS) held the Fourth Constructive Powers Initiative (CPI) Meeting under the theme “middle powers and development cooperation". A Canadian delegation, including H.E. David Chatterson, Ambassador of Canada to Korea, Ambassador Paul Heinbecker, and Mr. Robert Sauder, Director of Policy Research with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, participated in the meeting in Seoul from November 27-28.
The CPI Meeting is a closed consultative 1.5-track dialogue among experts from middle power countries, where representatives from think tanks and academic circles, as well as officials in charge of foreign policy planning discuss how middle power countries can make constructive contributions on various global issues.
The Fourth CPI Meeting was attended by approximately 40 people, such as officials in charge of foreign policy planning, ambassadors to the ROK and related experts from 11 countries, including countries participating in MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey, Australia), Canada, and South Africa.
In the meeting, participants shared information on each country’s development cooperation policies and issues of common concern and discussed ways for middle power countries to make contributions and cooperate in shaping the post-2015 development agenda. Furthermore, at the request of participants, explanations on
the situation in Northeast Asia and achievements made at the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace 2013 were provided.
Foreign Policy News
Agreement on Initial Steps toward the Resolution of the Iranian Nuclear Issue
The Government of the Republic of Korea welcomes the agreement reached between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US) and Iran in Geneva on November 24, which calls for taking initial steps toward the resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue, including limiting Iran's uranium enrichment and heavy-water reactor-related activities and strengthening inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The ROK Government commends the efforts made by relevant countries toward this agreement.
The ROK Government, for its part, will actively participate in non- proliferation efforts in the international community, including the IAEA, to resolve the nuclear issue. In addition, the ROK Government urges North Korea to accept the unified call of the international community for its denuclearization and to make the strategic decision to abandon its nuclear programs by complying with its international obligations and commitments under the September 19 Joint Statement and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
ROK Elected as a Member of the World Heritage Committee
The Republic of Korea was elected as a member of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) for the 2013-2017 term during the 19th session of the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on November 19-21.
The ROK’s election to the WHC reflects the country’s active contribution to the protection of world heritage through its support for efforts to preserve and maintain world heritage in all forms. The 21-member WHC is the intergovernmental committee that makes the final decision on the inscription of heritage on the World Heritage List (WHL). As a WHC member, the ROK can take an active part in the WHC’s decision-making process regarding inscriptions.
The ROK sought to join the WHC as one of its key policy tasks for the year 2013, as well as a cooperation project between the Foreign Ministry and the Cultural Heritage Administration. Led by the two government agencies, overseas diplomatic missions, including the Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, made active efforts to this end with the support of relevant expert networks at
home, such as the Korean National Commission for UNESCO. The ROK’s accession to the WHC is seen as a case where government agencies have worked closely together to contribute to enhancing the country’s international standing.
ROK to Dispatch 3rd Korea Disaster Relief Team to the Philippines
The government of the Republic of Korea, having already sent two Korea Disaster Relief Teams (KDRT) to the Philippines to support recovery efforts following Typhoon Haiyan, has decided to dispatch its third 21-member group to the country to carry out relief and other recovery operations from November 29 through December 8.
Given the growing demand for medical services in Tacloban, the third group of the KDRT, unlike its predecessors, will largely consist of medical staff. The activities by the first and the second groups of the KDRT in the Philippines drew keen attention from the country, as demonstrated by the extension of appreciation by the President of the Philippines and the visit of the Undersecretary of the Department of Health to Saint Paul’s Hospital.
As of November 27, the 87 members of the first and the second groups of the KDRT have provided medical treatment and performed surgeries on 3,095 people; recovered the bodies of 145 people; and conducted 43 rounds of quarantine operations.
The ROK government decided on November 12 to offer five million US dollars in humanitarian assistance to the Philippines. Korea will also provide the country with 20 million US dollars over next three years (2014-2016) to support the country’s recovery and reconstruction efforts.
2013 Korean Business Day
On Tuesday, November 26th and Wednesday, November 27th 2013, the Korean Embassy hosted the 2013 Korean Business Day.
Approximately 30 people, including Ambassador Cho Hee-yong, Consuls from three Consulate Generals, Korean entrepreneurs in Canada, and representatives of the Embassy, held discussions on ways to strengthen the economic ties between Korea and Canada.
On the second day, the Korean corporations were provided with an opportunity to hear from Canadian experts on trade and investment policy, including Mr. Robert Séguin, former Director of Policy of the Anti-dumping and Countervailing Directorate of the Canadian Border Services Agency and current VP Operations of RC International Trade Consultants, who spoke about Canada's customs and trade remedy organizations and recent trends in Canada's import restriction policy.
Participants also heard from Mr. Colin MacDonald, Partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, and the Honourable Gar Knutson, former Minister of State for International Trade for New and Emerging Markets, on external economic policies focused on the Investment Canada Act.
During the two sessions, representatives of the Korean businesses were able to clarify Canada's position regarding imports and foreign investment, and increase their understanding on Canada's economic policies.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Embassy Speakers Series
As the ‘Year of Korea in Canada’ and the ‘Year of the Korean War Veteran’ draws to a close, we look forward to the next chapter in Korea-Canada relations; to another 50 years and beyond.
Three panel speakers, including Hugh Lee, an e- Reporter for the Embassy, Justine Brown, a former ESL teacher in Korea and grand-daughter of a Korean War Veteran, and Merina Shulist, a Peace Camp participant and the grand-daugher of a Korean War Veteran, will share their unique perspectives on the future of Korea-Canada relations, based on their knowledge of Korea and experiences living in our two countries.
Korean Movie Night
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea cordially invites you to join us at our 14th Korean Movie Night on Thursday December 12th at 18:00.
The title of the film is 'Miracle in Cell No. 7' and it was released in 2013. The screening will take place in the auditorium at the Embassy, located at 150 Boteler Street in Ottawa. Light refreshments will also be served. We look forward to seeing you there.
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? 2013 Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Canada