Korean National Day marked in Riyadh

November 03, 2018

Samar Yahya

Saudi Gazette

— The Korean Embassy in Riyadh on Wednesday hosted a reception on the occasion of the country’s National Day and Armed Forces Day.

Korean ambassador JO Byung Wook received the guest of honor, Prince Mohammed Bin Abdurahman, deputy emir of Riyadh.

In his welcome speech, the ambassador said: “Today, we are celebrating the 4,350th anniversary of the first nation state that Koreans established in 2,333 BC. The last 100 years saw the most breathtaking unfolding of events in the Korean history. At the turn of the last century, we lost our country for 35 years, then regained it in 1945, and then were divided into two Koreas, which fought a brutal war against each other for three years.

“Among the many friends of Korea, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia deserves a special place in the hearts of Koreans because the Saudis have always stood together with Koreans throughout the turbulent period.

“Since our two countries established diplomatic relations in 1962, we have shared many common values and made joint efforts in coping with various challenges. Korea and Saudi Arabia have maintained the most enduring and important bilateral relations not only through good times but also through hard times for the last 56 years.

“Korea has played a key part in the development of infrastructure in the Kingdom. In the same manner, without the Saudi support in energy sector, Korea would have never been able to develop so steadily and so fast. It is no wonder that the Kingdom is Korea’s 6th largest source of imports and our primary energy provider, and Korea is the Kingdom’s 5th largest export market.”

JO Byung Wook continued: “Saudi Arabia is also going through one of the most significant moments in its history under the leadership of Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, the Crown Prince.

“As His Royal Highness inspires the Saudis and the world with an ambitious yet achievable blueprint of the future named ‘Vision 2030,’ the world is witnessing the Saudis reinvigorating and realizing the potentials of their Kingdom. I am very proud to remind all of you that Korea is one of the strategic partners of ‘Vision 2030.’

“By launching the Korea-Saudi Vision 2030 Committee last year, we are pursuing a more permanent, fundamental and substantial platform for bilateral partnership and cooperation.”

The reception also hosted Korean students who played traditional music while Saudi students presented martial arts.

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