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Attending the opening ceremony of 3rd Goseong Dinosaur World ExpoEnvoys tour Goseong, see rare dinosaur exhibits, meet Korean and foreign figures

Some 50 ambassadors, spouses and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps (SDC) attended the opening ceremony of the 3rd Goseong Dinosaur World Expo in Goseong City on March 30-31, 2012, the largest such event of Korea. The tour of the Expo and the Goseong City for the diplomats was arranged by The Korea Post magazine.

▲Mayor Lee Hak-lul of Goseong City (sixth from left, front row) poses with visiting members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps including Ambs. Shahidul Islam of Bangladesh (dean of the visiting members,sixth from right), Dato' Ramlan bin Ibrahim of Malaysia (fifth from right) and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post (fifth from left) after the welcoming luncheon.

The ambassadors, their spouses and other visiting members of the SDC attended the opening ceremony, had dinner with Governor Kim Du-kwan of Gyeongsangnam-do Province as well as Mayor Lee Hak-lul of Goseong City, and saw a wide variety of dinosaur exhibits (including footprint fossils of dinosaurs), bio-farming and 3D to 5D videos. They also had a tour of interesting destinations in and around Goseong, including a cable car ride to and from the Mireuk-san Mountain in the National Hallyeo Marine Park.

Among the Korean and international figures they met in Goseong, besides Governor Kim Du-kwan of the Gyeongsangnam-do Province and Mayor Lee Hak-lul of Goseong City, were Chairman Huh Ki-do of the Legislative Council of Gyeongsangnam-do, Chairman Je Jong-mo of the Busan Metropolitan City Council, President Kim Sung-Jin of Hankyong National University, Korea’s top gagman ‘Popeye’ Lee Sang-yong, and Korean top singer Nam Jin. They also met with Mayor Laura Pricedman of Grendale City of California and President Zacharry R. Hodges of Houston Community College of the United States.

▲From left: Mayor Lee Hak-lul of Goseong City, Governor Kim Du-kwan of Gyeongsangnam-do Province and Ambassador Dato' Ramlan bin Ibrahim of Malaysia speaking at the opening ceremony.

Welcoming the 50 ambassadors, spouses and other senior members of the SDC at a luncheon he hosted, Mayor Lee Hak-lul of Goseong City said in part: “The dinosaurs that had lived on the Korean peninsula went extinct 65 million years ago due to environmental apocalypse and we only have their footprints that are the traces of their habitation in Korea.
“The extinct dinosaurs restore their life by the rainwater that is the alpha and omega of the environment. And the dinosaurs that have thus recovered their life will tell us the story of the rainwater and the environment.” (Further details of the speech toward the end of this Article.)

In a return speech, Ambassador Shahidul Islam of Bangladesh expressed his appreciation for the invitation of the ambassadors and other members of the Diplomatic Corps to the Gyeongnam Goseong Dinosaur World Expo. Then he presented a Plaque of Appreciation to Mayor Lee on behalf of all the members of the Diplomatic Corps joining the tour of Goseong that day.
At the welcome luncheon, Ambassador Islam of Bangladesh, dean of the visiting members of the SDC that day according to the order of precedence of accreditation to Korea, presented a Plaque of Appreciation to Mayor Lee Hak-lul for the invitation of the ambassadors and other diplomats to the Goseong Dinosaur World Expo, which contributed to the promotion of understanding on the part of the diplomats concerning Korean culture.

▲Ambassador Islam of Bangladesh (right) presenting a Plaque of Appreciation to Mayor Lee.

In return, Mayor Lee presented Ambassador Islam with a 'Porcelain Vase with Ice Crystal Patterns' created by Pottery Artist Lee Kyu-ahn of the Hyangrim Pottery Institute, who is the Master Artist Number 1 of the Gyeongsangnam-do Province in the Pottery Division. Mayor Lee later gave one such vase to each ambassador and member of the SDC in memory of their visit to Goseong Dinosaur World Expo.

Following the luncheon, the visiting ambassadors and other diplomats began a tour of various Expo event sites, namely the Dinosaur Grove, the Dinosaur Contents Industrial Hall, the Rainwater Utilization Experience Hall, the Dinosaur Character Hall, the Laser Image Hall, the Korean Peninsula Footprint Fossil Hall, the Traditional Korean Culture Experience Hall, the Expo Main Theme Park, the Dinosaur Land Botanical Garden and the Bio-Environment Agricultural Experience Hall.

▲From right, Amb. Islam of Bangladesh, Mayor Lee Hak-lul, Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, Mrs. Lee Kyung-sik and Amb. Arganaraz of Argentina, who are toasting to the successful hosting of the Dinosaur Expo.

On the evening of the first day, Mayor hosted a dinner reception for the VIP guests to the Dinosaur Expo, who included Governor Kim Du-kwan (one of the three Presidential hopefuls of the united opposition camp), National Assemblyman Kim Hyeong-O, Chairman Heo Gi-do of the Gyeongsangnam-do Provincial Council, Chairman Jae Jong-Mo of Busan Metropolitan City Council, Councilman Kim Dae Gyeom of the Busan City Council, Chairman Park Tae-Hoon of Goseong City Council and Councilmen, Superintendent Lim Hye-Gyeong of the Busan Metropolitan City Board of Education and Superintendent Kim Bok-Man of the Ulsan City Board of Education.

▲From right, Mrs. Gulden Saribas (spouse of the Turkish envoy; Ambs. Mustafa Naci Saribas of Turkey, Ngovi Kitau of Kenya and Marmazov Vasyl of Ukraine; Mayor Lee; Amb. Hector Roberto Gonzalez Urrutia of El Salvador; Mrs. Ana Maria de Gonzalez; and Mrs. Monicah Wangari Ngovi (spouse of the ambassador of Kenya).

▲Mayor Lee of Goseong City (left) shakes hands with Rev. Park Seung-eok of Cheonman-Sa Buddhist Temple in Ulsan.

Among the VIP guests at the dinner were 20 Public Relations Ambassadors of the Expo, who included Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post and MBC TV Popular Gagman, ‘Popeye’ Lee Sang-yong, who is noted for keeping men happy with juicy adult jokes.
It rained on and off just enough to encourage the host to go ahead and carry out the opening ceremony outside the building. Large tents had been pitched on the open ground facing the open-air stage. The guests under the tents somehow kept themselves reasonably dry but the speakers, including Mayor Lee and Governor Kim Du-kwan of the Gyeongsangnam-do Province, braved the rain while speaking to the guests.

▲After the opening ceremony, Popeye Lee Sang-yong, public PR Amb. of Goseong Dinosaur Expo (center) poses with distinguished guests as well as the Seoul Diplomatic corps.

Speaking to the guests, Governor Kim of the Gyeongsangnam-do Province said that Goseong is one of the top 3 regions of the world where dinosaur fossils have been found, the other two being Colorado in the United States and the West Coast of the Republic of Argentina.
Then he said, “With the footsteps of dinosaurs, Goseong has held successful Dinosaur World Expo, and it is enhancing the value of tourist contents of Korea.” (Further details toward the end of this Article.)
On the following morning, it was clear and sun shined belying the rain the preceding night. The visiting ambassadors and other members of the SDC set out on a tour of the Goseong Dinosaur Museum

▲Mayor Lee of Goseong City and Governor Kim Du-kwan of the Gyeongsangnam-do Province (center and third from left, toast for the success of the 3rd Triennial Gyeongnam Goseong Dinosaur World Expo in a welcoming reception.

The Goseong Dinosaur Museum, which was built in the form of the body of the Iguanodon and which is the first dinosaur museum in the Republic of Korea, has one underground floor and three floors above ground. The Museum houses various dinosaur footprint fossils.
The visiting members of the SDC watched a ‘4D’ film and ‘made an excursion into the dinosaur world of the Cretaceous Period’ having all types of adventurous experiences.
On the front yard of the Museum stands a 24-meter-high Dinosaur Tower and has an observatory tower which commands a fantastic view sprawling below the hill.

The visiting diplomats then moved to the nearby Tongyeong City where they had lunch at the buffet restaurant of the Tongyeong Anchovy Hotel near the coast. The saengseonhoe or sashimi raw fish slices were very fresh and tasty as they were fresh out of the water.

▲Publisher-Chairman Lee, Mrs. Lee of The Korea Post pose with Popeye Lee Sang-yong.

Then they visited the Hallyeo Marine Park where they rode the famous Tongyeong Cable Car up to the Mireuk-san Mountain and back down to the bottom. The hilltop terminal of the cable car commanded a fantastic view of the Tongyeong City and the neighboring towns as well as the countless number of small islets studding the coastal waters.

It was a detachable bicable Gondola ropeway with a total length of 1,975 meters (which is the longest cable car system in Korea) and has an elevation gap of 337 meters (48 meters at the bottom station and 385 meters at the top station). The maximum speed of the cable car was six meters per second.
The total time of traveling was about 20 minutes roundtrip, 10 minutes going up and 10 minutes coming down. The transportation capacity was 800 persons per hour time was one way and each car was an eight-seater Gondola.
There were two observatories, one at the hill top and the other at the Sinseondae High Ground (named after Sinseon [saints or Taoist hermits with miraculous magical powers like Genie], which overlooked the victorious Hansan sea battle site where the Joseon Dynasty hero Admiral Yi Sun-shin won a big victory over the invading Japanese naval forces during the Japanese Hideyoshi Invasion of Korea in the late 16th century.

▲A dinosaur model besides the welcoming luncheon venue

"The rainwater says hello to the dinosaurs" is the theme of the 3rd Goseong Dinosaur World Expo today. We are meeting here today to learn the story of the rainwater that has awakened the dinosaurs from their sleep of hundreds of thousands of years and the story of the environment.
Dear citizens of Goseong, Excellencies of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps, tourists and the distinguished guests from Korea and abroad, welcome to the Goseong Region which was a continent in the Cretaceous Period a hundred thousand years ago.

▲Elinus Tourist Hotel in Goseong where the visiting envoys stayed. Each room commanded a fantastic view.

My special thanks go to Honorable Governor Kim Du-kwan of the Gyeongsangnam-do Province who is the Honorary Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Goseong Dinosaur World Expo, Honorable National Assemblyman Lee Koon-hyun who chairs the Expo, former National Assemblyman Honorable Kim Hyung-o, Honorable Ambassadors, Honorable Mayors of our sister cities from the United States, China, Australia and Japan, and the distinguished guests from within Korea and without.
The dinosaurs that had lived on the Korean peninsula went extinct 65 million years ago due to environmental apocalypse and we only have their footprints that are the traces of their habitation in Korea.

The extinct dinosaurs restore their life by the rainwater that is the alpha and omega of the environment. And the dinosaurs that have thus recovered their life will tell us the story of the rainwater and the environment.

▲The Elinus Tourist Hotel had the National Flags of all the countries represented by the visiting ambassadors.

The dinosaurs will tell us how precious the rainwater is. The dinosaurs will whisper to us that Korea is not a water-destitute county but a rainwater-short country. We will learn from the gestures of the dinosaurs that Korea is a country with plenty of water if we properly manage the rainwater.
Dear citizens of Goseong and the tourists, please lend your ear to the story of the rainwater told by the dinosaurs and have a pleasant excursion into the world of the Cretaceous Period together with the dinosaurs that lived here a thousand million years ago. Thank you.

Congratulatory speech by Governor Kim Du-kwan of Gyeongsangnam-do Province.

Good evening, all the local and international honorable guests. Dinosaur World Expo 2012 with your great support brings about a tremendously importance occurrence, revival of the world of dinosaurs.
First of all, I'd like to express my special thanks to President Lee Goon-Hyun of the Organizing Committee of the Goseong Expo, Mayor Lee Hak-lul of the Goseong City, and all the dear residents of the Goseong City.

▲Visiting members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps view a '4D' film where they felt as if they were actually in the dinosaur land 100 million years ago.

Thank you Honorable National Assemblyman Mr. Kim Hyeong-O for coming here all the way from his work in Seoul. I'd also like to thank Chairman Heo Gi-do of the Gyeongsangnam-do Provincial Council and Council members including Mr. Kim Dae Gyeom. Also, I'd like to thank Chairman Park Tae Hoon of Goseong Council and other members for coming here. Chairman Jae Jong-Mo of the Busan City Council, the Superintendent of Lim Hye-Gyeong of the Board of Education of the Busan City and Superintendent Kim Bok-Man of Board of Education of the Ulsan City. I would also like express my profound gratitude to His Excellency Ambassador Dato' Ramlan bin Ibrahim of Malaysia, and I'd like to thank you all for coming here.
Goseong is one of the top 3 regions of the world where dinosaur fossils have been found, the other two being Colorado of the United States and the West Coast of the Republic of Argentina.
With the footsteps of dinosaurs, Goseong has held successful Dinosaur World Expos, and it is enhancing the value of the contents of culture in Korea.
Especially in this year's Expo, we have put in so much effort into every single content under the theme of 'Raindrops Say Hello to Dinosaurs.'.
We're sharing the history that dates back to a hundred millions of years ago, by tracing back the footsteps of the dinosaurs.

▲Left: Amb. Slobodan Marinkovic of Serbia playfull holds the tongue of a dinosaur. Center: Amb. Carlos Alberto Arganaraz of Argentina poses in front of a dinosaur of the Goseong Dinosaur Museum. Right: Mrs. Eugenia Bellova, spouse of Slovak ambassador, poses in front of a glass slide tunnel.

I hope this year's Expo will contribute greatly to attaining successful results that will bring about a meaningful future.
My honorable residents in Goseong!
Producer Han Sang Ho from EBS who directed the 3-D dinosaur movie ‘Jeombaggi' said that all the children around the world, four to five years old, are very much interested in dinosaurs. This points to a strong possibility that the Goseong Dinosaur World Expo will grow bigger and bigger.
Also, they have discovered dinosaur fossils in many other places in the Gyeongsangnam-do province, including Hanam, Namhae, and Hadong.

▲Visiting members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps. pose in front of a Kenya Booth

All these will combine into one and expand the value of the cultural heritage of the Gyeongsangnam-do areas.

All the people who are here to celebrate the Expo!
We have prepared enough to satisfy you in exhibitions and booths. We were able to make all these learning from trials and errors made during the two preceding Dinosaur World Expos here.
I hope you'll enjoy your time experiencing the birth of the mysteries through the new Dinosaur Expo.
I'd like to thank all the Goseong residents who have worked so hard to make everything so successful.
Also, I'd like to thank all the guests who are here to lighten up the Expo sites..
I wish you every success and hope that many fortunate things will happen to you this year.

▲Goseong officials say goodbye to the visiting members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps at the KTX train. They came all the way from Goseong to Seoul to greet ing guess and again after the tourwas over on the following day.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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