Seoul and Bucharest have continuously deepened their relations in the political, economic, and cultural fields. Bilateral cooperation on the international stage is based on the shared core values and common security interests, especially since the launching of the Strategic Partnership in 2008, H.E. Rim Kap-soo, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea stated on Wednesday evening at the reception organized at the Diplomatic Club to celebrate the National Foundation Day of the Republic of Korea.
“Since the start of my tenure as Ambassador here in Romania seven months ago, I identified priority areas that needed to move forward and prepared a to-do list and my Embassy’s efforts have been directed towards accomplishing these tasks,” Korea’s Ambassador emphasized.
Mr. Rim Kap-soo said that task No. 1 on his to-do list is to bring the bilateral relations back to a new peak.
“After more than two years of diplomatic freeze due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our bilateral relations started to pick up new momentum at a high level. In June, our two Foreign Ministers had a phone conversation, just one month after our new Government was inaugurated. The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea paid a visit to Bucharest in August as his first overseas trip, having substantial and fruitful discussions with his Romanian counterparts from the Senate and Chamber of Deputies. Two weeks ago, the Defense Minister of Romania visited Seoul and had bilateral talks with his Korean counterpart. And today last week, both Prime Ministers of the Republic of Korea and Romania met in person and had a very constructive discussion. I expect an additional number of high-level Korean and Romanian officials to shuttle between Seoul and Bucharest this year,” he added.
The Ambassador also mentioned that second on his list is to take economic cooperation to whole new heights in line with the Strategic Partnership. “There is a great potential between our two countries in the economic and investment areas. However, this potential has so far been untapped and my Embassy and I are focusing our efforts on turning this potential into concrete fruition. I am expecting large-scale business delegations to visit Romania in a few months to explore specific trade and investment projects”.
“Last but not least, to promote the people to people exchange in order to further broaden the horizon of mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples and cultures. In this regard, my Embassy has been organizing various academic and cultural activities. For instance, my Embassy is currently hosting the “Korean Beauty in Poster Art” exhibition, together with Art Safari, which I highly advise you to visit,” Mr. Rim Kap-soo added.
“Romania is on the Eastern flank of the free world in Europe, and the Republic of Korea is at the northern tip of the free world in Northeast Asia. We share the same security implications, we share the core values of liberal democracy. We are looking in the same direction, we are wearing the same glasses to see the world from a shared perspective. Thus, I would like to say that ‘Korea and Romania are same-minded partners, beyond the level of like-minded countries,” the Korean Ambassador also said.
He closed his address referring to two Romanian proverbs that he likes very much, and which describe exactly the current relationship between Romania and Korea.
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. During last year’s pandemic season, Romania and Korea supported each other by providing one another with vaccines and test kits. Our two countries walked together side by side, to come out of the Covid darkness. Strategic Partnership means going through the bumpy journey shoulder to shoulder, especially at times when we are in the dark.
“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk by my side and be my friend”. This is the direction in which I am determined to steer our Strategic Partnership,” Korea’s Ambassador concluded.