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The Korea Post organizes tours for the ambassadors, senior diplomats, spouses

Since its inauguration in 1985, The Korea Post has been organizing tours for the ambassadors and senior diplomats with their spouses to the industrial, cultural and various other events of the local governments for the promotion of understanding between the diplomats and the Korean society. And in many instances, The Korea Post publishes stories and photos on these events in advance of the tour so that the visiting ambassadors would be familiar with the events before their actual visits.

During the tours, The Korea Post fully introduces the details of the events to the visiting ambassadors as well as introducing each ambassador and other visiting member of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps for the promotion understanding, friendship and cooperation between Korea and the countries represented by the diplomats.
Many ambassadors and others senior diplomats take part in the tours of The Korea Post as they learn the special features of the countryside outside Seoul. Here are the details of some of the tours organized by The Korea Post for the past 30 years.
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Over 120 envoys, senior diplomats and their spouses visit Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan

More than 120 ambassadors, senior diplomats and their spouses from a total of over 60 different countries of the world visited the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Ulsan in the southwestern part of Korea on May 24, 2001, and inspected various production facilities and systems. The visiting diplomats were welcomed by Chairman Kim Hyung-byuk of the HHI. The participating countries included the United States, the United Kingdom, the EU, the Russian Federation, France, the Netherlands, Australia and Switzerland. The visiting ambassadors said that they were deeply impressed by the large scale of the HHI.
More than 120 ambassadors, senior diplomats and their spouses from a total of over 60 different countries of the world visited the Hyundai Heavy Industries in a tour organized by The Korea Post in 2001.
Top row from left: Ambassador and Mrs. Alfredo Ungo of El Salvador, Chairman Kim Hyung-byuk of Hyundai Heavy Industries, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, and Vice Chairman Yoon Young-no of The Korea Post.
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At total of over 80 ambassadors, senior diplomats and their spouses from a total of over 40 different countries of the world visited the Hwacheon Sancheoneo (Mountain Trout) Festival in Hwacheon in Gangwon Province in a tour organized by The Korea Post on Jan. 16, 2010.
The visiting envoys and other senior diplomats also visited the legend-rich Peace Dam, the Peace Bell Park and the Demilitarized Zone where access is denied to ordinary citizens. The Festival began in 2003 and each year attracts a total of some 1.3 million visitors from all parts of the world as well as from within Korea. The Hwacheon Mountain Trout Festival has become one of the three major winter festivals of Asia, the other two being the Harbin Ice Lantern Festival of China and the Sapporo Snow Festival of Japan.
Ambassador Keola Soukthavone of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the dean of the visiting members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps, expressed his gratitude for the important opportunity given to him and all the visiting ambassadors and other members of the Diplomatic Corps to learn the Festival and various other aspects of Hwacheon. He also expressed hopes that there will be everlasting peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula and in all parts of the world. Then he expressed his gratitude to Mayor Chung, Chairman Kim Kyung-sun of the Hwacheon County Council and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post for the efforts they have made in arranging the wonderful tour for all the ambassadors and other senior diplomats as well as for himself.

▲Ambassadors, senior diplomats and their spouses on board the Ice Breaker of the Hwacheon County. They visited the Peace Dam and Peace Bell using this Ice Breaker.

▲Mayor Chung Gap-chul of Hwacheon County (in the front row wearing black suits and a red tie) and Ambassador Keola of Laos (on the right of Mayor Chung) are posing with the other visiting members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps.

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Over 70 envoys, senior diplomats, spouses visit Hyundai Motor Company in Namyang and Asan

A total of more than 70 ambassadors, senior diplomats and their spouses visited the Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) located in Namyang and Asan, about 60 miles south of Seoul, on March 24, 2006, and inspected the R&D Center and various production facilities of the Company.
Welcoming the distinguished international guests, President Chung Ui-sun of the HMC said, “The Hyundai and Kia motor companies will grow to one of the five top auto makers of the world by 2010.”
The visiting ambassadors and other senior diplomats inspected the R&D Center of the HMC and sophisticated research-development facilities, which included Collison tests of motor vehicles. Unlike other Korean big business company CEOs,
In response, Ambassador Alfredo Ungo of El Salvador (dean of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps) said, “Touring the wonderful production facilities, I am reminded of the foresight of the Chairman Chung Ju-yung of the Hyundai Business Group and I would like to take this opportunity to express my respect for former Chairman Chung.”
Ambassadors and other members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps visit the Hyundai Motor Company in Namyang and Asan arranged by The Korea Post.

▲Ambassador Ungo of El Salvador (left) and President Chung of HMC are inspecting the production line of the company together with other ambassadors and senior diplomats.

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Envoys, senior diplomats and spouses attend 4th Jecheon International Music and Film Festival

Some 50 Ambassadors, other senior diplomats and their spouses attended the 4th Jecheon International Music and Film Festival on Sept. 14, 2008 which they visited in a one-night-two-day tour at the invitation of Mayor Eom Tae-young of the Jecheon City. The tour was arranged by The Korea Post at the invitation of Mayor Eom.

The Festival, which featured the British film, Younng@Heart, as the opening work of the Festival, was attended by an estimated 3,500 representatives from all walks of life in the Korean society as well as Jecheon City.

On the following day, the ambassadors, senior diplomats and their spouses were invited to tour the Sotte Park and the Loess(Red Clay) Festival.
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Ambassadors, senior diplomats, spouses visit Sam Hospital in Anyang

Ambassadors, senior diplomats and their spouses from 20 different countries of the world had a tour of the Sam Hospital in Anyang City on Nov. 12, 2008. The Sam Hospital, which has a motto and slogan reading "We Love You,” is noted for the special care for the patients based on the love of Jesus Christ.
Speaking to the visiting ambassadors and other diplomats, President Lee Sang-taek said, “I would not say that we are the best hospital in the world but I assure you that we do our best for the benefit of patients.”
Ambassador Umana Chinchilla of Honduras, dean of the visiting members of the Diplomatic Corps expressed his congratulations on the 41stanniversary of founding of the Hospital as well as his gratitude for President Lee’s invitation of the ambassadors and other senior diplomats to visit the hospital.
The visiting members of the Diplomatic Corps then toured variousfacilities of the Hospital, including the Oriental Medicine Hospital and the Women’s Hospital. The vising diplomats were greeted by the lady doctors and nurses who welcomed the visiting members of the Diplomatic Corps clad in beautiful traditional Korean Hanbok costumes in a display of special regard and welcome for the ambassadors and senior diplomats.

▲President and Mrs. Lee Sang-taek of the Sam Hospital (sixth and seventh from left, front row, respectively) poses with the visiting ambassadors and othersenior members of the Diplomatic Corps.

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Ambassadors and senior diplomats from over 60 countries attend Boyreong Mud Festival

Some 60 ambassadors, senior diplomats and their spouses visited the Boryeong City, Chungcheongnam-do Province, on July 24, 2010, and attended the 13th Boryeong Mud Festival at the invitation of Mayor Lee Shi-woo arranged by The Korea Post.
The Boryeong Mud Festival, which was initially started in July 1998 to widely introduce and commercialize the excellent quality of the mud in Boryeong, has now become one of the most important local festivals in Korea. The Boryeong Mud Cosmetic Articles have become thanks the excellent quality of the local mud which is believed to have an excellent medical efficacy good for the skin.
Welcoming the visiting ambassadors, senior diplomats and their spouses, Mayor Lee See-woo said, “The Boryeong Beach is the only place in the Orient where the sand has the optimum level and share of shall powder and I would like to recommend to all the distinguished guests to personally experience the excellent effects of the clean mud of the Boryeong Beach.” The Festival offered mud massaging, beach-site self-massaging and sophisticated mud massaging.

▲Ambassador Mohammed Salah Eldin Abbas of Sudan (seventh from left), dean of the visiting members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps, with Mayor Lee Si-woo of Boryeong City (10th from left, front row) at the opening of the 2010 Boyryeong Mud Festival.

Ambassadors of Russia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, other countries attend 2011 Medical Korea Conference

Ambassadors of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and a number of other countries attended the 2011 Global Health Care & Medical Conference held in Seoul on April 13, 2011. The Korea Post arranged the tour for the ambassadors to the Conference.

Minister Chin Soo-Hee of Health & Welfare attending the Conference said that a total of 300,000 in-bound medical tourists are expected to visit Korea a year by 2015. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2nd Healthcare& Medical Tourism Conference (Medical Korea 2011) at COEX in Seoul on April 13, 2011, Minister Chin said that the number of in-bounds to Korea for medical attention has been rapidly increasing from 60,000 in 2009 to 80,000 last year and that Korea is expecting the number to increase to 300,000 a year by 2015.
Medical Korea 2011 was co-hosted by the Ministry of Health & Welfare and the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism and organized by the Korea Healthcare Industry and Tourism Institute (KHIDI).
Following Minister Chin, President Bupwan Kim of KHIDI stated that medical tourism industry has passed through an introductory period and that now it is meeting a growth period around the world. He noted that medical institutions and providers offer a high-quality service differentiated from other countries and give patients trust for developing global healthcare industry.
A return address was made by Ambassador Konstantin V. Vnukov who congratulated the successful opening of Medical Korea 2011 and disclosed that Russia was very much interested in increasing cooperation and exchange between Korea and Russia in medicine. He said that in fact a good number of Russian medical experts were attending the Conference.
The Conference was attended by a total of over 500 guests from 27 different countries of the world, who included Ambassadors Muteb AL-Mutoteh of Kuwait, Konstantin V. Vnukov of the Russian Federation and Al-Ahmad Al-Barrak of Saudi Arabia; Charge d'Affaires Abdulla Almarzooqi of the United Arab Emirates and Medical Attache Scott Blaker of the United States, many of whom were accompanied by their wives. Among the medical experts attending Medical Korea 2011 were President Allan Yeo of Thomson Medical Centre, President Choi Han-Yong of Samsung Medical Center, President Cho Sang Heon of Seoul National University Hospital Healthcare System, President Young-seon Hong of the Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, President & CEO Park Yong-Won of Yonsei University Health System, President Huh Chu Yeop Kyung Hee University International Medical Service in Gangdong and Vice President Dr. Chang-Sung Son for Health Affairs at Korea University Medical Center.
The Korea Post organized the attendance of the ambassadors and other senior diplomats at the international Medical-Health Care Conference.

▲Minister Chin Soo-hee with foreign envoys and presidents of major hospitals in Korea. Shown here are, from left: President Cho Sang-hun of Seoul National University Gangnam Medical Center, President Hong Young-seon of Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, President Bupwan Kim of KHIDI, President Park Yong-won of Yonsei University Health System, Minister Chin, Ambassador Muteb Al-Mutoteh of Kuwait, President Jung Hee-won of Seoul National University Hospital, Ambassador Vnukov of Russia, Mrs. Vnukov, President Kim Chang-duck of Korea University Anam Hospital, Ambassador Ahmad Al Barrak of Saudi Arabia, Charge' Affaires Abdulla Husein Salman Almarzouqi of the UAE, Medical Attache Scott N. Blaker of the US and Mrs. Paula S. Blaker.

Ambassadors, media representatives attend Dangjin tug-of-war

Ambassador Dr. Alba Florio Legnani of Uruguay and other ambassadors, senior diplomats and international media representatives visited the Dangjin City of Chungcheongnam-do Province, some 87.5 miles southwest of Seoul on April 10, 2015 to attend the 2015 DangjinGijisi Tug-of-War Culture Festival in the city.

▲Ambassadors Alba Rosa Florio Legnani of Uruguay, Alicia Pchardo Polanco of the Dominical Republic, Antonio Quinteiro Nobre of Portugal, Andonov of Bulgaria and Jamime Pomareda of Peru (13th, 22nd, 20th, 30th and 14th from left, respectively) pose with other members of the Diplomatic Corps and international media representatives.

▲Mayor Kim Hong-jang of Dangjin City (right) welcomes Ambassador Alba Rosa Florio Legnani of Uruguay (second from left), dean of the visiting members of the Diplomatic Corps, who is introduced by Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post (left).

The largest tug-of-war with the longest ropes in Asia has a history of 500 years and attracts hundreds of thousands of people.
On the way to Dangjin, the ambassadors, their spouses and other senior diplomats had a tour of various production facilities of the Hyundai Steel Mill and inspected the process of steel products being made.
Upon arrival in the Dangjin City, the ambassadors and other members of the visiting group attended a luncheon hosted by Mayor and Mrs. Kim Jang-Hong where a brief welcome ceremony was held in honor of the envoys and other senior diplomats.
Speaking to the guests, Mayor Kim said, “The DangjinGijisi Tug-of-War, which you will be visiting soon, is expected to be recorded as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage as Korea’s representative tug-of-war together with those of three other Asian countries, namely Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines.” Then he said that the DangjinGijisi Tug-of-War was a game where the two competing parties are both winners and there is no loser because when the Upper Stream Team wins there is peace in that year and when the Down Stream Team wins there is a bumper crop. (Further details are toward the end of this Article.)
Ambassador Florio Legnani of Uruguay made a return speech congratulating Mayor Kim on the Festival. She said in part: “As always these events give us opportunities of understanding and building friendly links with the Korean community. We are sure that we will enjoy seeing the special rope used, the largest of the world, the same as the game with its large number of participants working in team with harmony and unity.”

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Over 60 envoys, senior diplomats attend Gyeongju Silk Road Expo Student Festival

The 2015 Gyeongju Silk Road Culture Expo Student Festival was opened at the Expo Culture Center at the Expo Park in Gyeongju City some 231 miles southeast of Seoul on May 30, 2015 attended by over sixty ambassadors and other senior diplomats from 36 countries plus international media representatives and some 1,500 international student representatives from 95 countries of the world?as well as local government and civic leaders from Gyeongsangbuk-do Province and Gyeongju City (list of participants at the end of this Article).

▲Ambassadors and senior diplomats with their spouses pose with the mayor of Gyeongju City and other local government officials at a Dinner hosted by Mayor Choi. They are:- Front row, from left: Ambassadors Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia, DibabaAbdetta of Ethiopia, Mumba Smyth Kapumpa of Zambia, Albino Malungo of Angola, TissaWijeratne of Sri Lanka, Alba Rosa Florio Legnani of Uruguay and Mrs. Rosanna Bellolio (spouse of Ambassador of Chile); Ambassador Hernan BrantesGlavic of Chile; Mayor Choi Yang-sik of Gyeongju City with Mrs. Choi; Chairman Park Kwon-hyung of the Culture-Environment Committee of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Provincial Council; Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post; Mrs. Lee; Ambassadors GraciaFiordaliciaPichardo Polanco of Dominican Republic, Guadalupe Palomeque De Taboada of Bolivia, and Yadira Hidalgo de Ortiz of Venezuela (CDA). Second row, from left: Second Secretary OuttamaSithiphong of Laos; an official from the Gyeongju City government; Mrs. MahriDurdyyeva (spouse of Turkmenistani counsellor); Mrs. Tatiana Kim (spouse of Kyrgyz first secretary); Mrs. KalthoumKhantecheNafti (spouse of Tunisian ambassador); Mrs. ChisangaKapumpa (spouse of Zambian); Mrs. KonulTeymurova (spouse of Azerbaijani ambassador); Mrs. Lily Lee (spouse of general manager of China Airlines Korea); General Manager John Chang of China Airlines Korean manager); Mrs. SumedhaWijeratne (spouse of the Sri Lankan ambassador); Charge d’Affaires Jairo Lopez of Costa Rica; Mrs. MahManeshTeherian (spouse of the Iranian ambassador); Ambassadors Hassan Taherian of Iran and Tito Saul PinillaPinilla of Colombia; Economic Counselor Yen Kuo-ruey of Taipei Mission; Mrs. Hsu Wen Shing (spouse of the Taipei Mission economic counselor); Mrs. Mariana Magdalena Ruiz Salazar (spouse of Ecuadorian minister); Mrs. NehalSelim Hanna (spouse of the Egyptian ambassador of Egypt), Mrs. Maria Claudia Latorre Mejia (spouse of the Colombian ambassador); Mrs. Mihaela Fabian (spouse of the Romanian ambassador of Romania; and Editor Ms. Yoon Kyung-sook of the Korean-language editions of The Korea Post. Rear row, from left: First Secretary MelisMamadaliev of Kyrgyz Republic, Counsellor BegenchDurdiyev of Turkmenistan, Second Secretary S. JamaluddinFirozi of Afghanistan, Mrs. Zahra Firozi (spouse of second secretary of Afghanistan), Mrs. KhaingWahWah (spouse of Defense Attache of Myanmar), Defense Attache Brig. Gen. Myint Hein of Myanmar, Ambassador RamziTeymurov of Azerbaijan, Seoul Bureau Chief Stanislaw Barivoda of Itar-Tass, Chief Specialist-Expert BogatinskiyEgor, Ambassador Mohammed El Amine Derragui of Algeria and Charge d’Affaires SalohiddinKiromov of Tajikistan; Ambassadors PetarAndonov of Bulgaria, Jorge Jose Alberto Roballo of Argentina, Calin Fabian of Romania and VasylMarmazov of Ukraine; Mr. William Ortiz (spouse Venezuela charge d’affaures), Mrs. Katherine IvanovaApkhazava (spouse of the Georgian ambassador), Ambassador NikolozApkhazava of Georgia, Minister Jorge Alberto IcazaGustinez of Ecuador, Ambassador Antonio QuinteiroNobre of Portugal, Mrs. Marina NobreQuinteiro (spouse of Portuguese ambassador), Ambassador Jaime Pomareda of Peru, and Mrs. Susana Yturry (spouse of Peruvian ambassador)

Attending the opening ceremony were Ambassador Herman Brantes of Chile and over 60 other ambassadors and spouses, Governor Kim Kwan-yong of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, Mayor Choi Yang-sik of the Gyeongju City, Chairman Park Kwon-hyung of the Culture-Environment Committee of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Provincial Council and other government and civic leaders of the central government as well as the provincial and city governments.
Welcoming the ambassadors and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps, international student representatives and other guests, Governor Kim Kwan-yong said in part: “I am pleased to announce that President Park Geun-hye takes strong interest in the Gyeongju Silk Road Culture Expo, especially for our efforts put in, which she cited were a representative case good for the flourishing of the Korean and international cultures.

▲Ambassador Hernan Brantes of Chile and Governor Kim Kwan-yong of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (8th and 10th from left, front row, respectively) applaud the opening of the 2015 Gyeongju Silk Road Expo International Student Festival with other ambassadors and senior diplomats as well as the government and civic leaders of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province and Gyeongju City, including Mayor Choi Yang-sik of the Gyeongju (13th from left, front row).

“In particular, on the occasion of President Park’s visit to Gyeongju in December 2013, the President extolled our efforts made for the 2013 Istanbul-Gyeongju Expo citing that Cultural Fusion was the Key Word of the 21st Century.” (Excerpts from the speech are toward the end of this Article.)
In response to the welcome speech of Governor Kim, Ambassador Herman Brantes of Chile spoke on behalf of the visiting members of the Diplomatic Corps. He said in part: “A long time ago, the Silk Road was a great journey of mankind that took place along the path of civilization, and today we have a new Silk Road, longest and wider, but of culture, economy, technology and cooperation that are transcending the differences between the countries, for which we congratulate the organizers of this Gyeongju Silk Road Culture Expo and particularly the government of Gyeongju for inviting us to participate in this excellent initiative.”
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Attending the opening ceremony of 3rd Goseong Dinosaur World Expo

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.”
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.

Minister Chin eyes annual 300,000 medical tourists to Korea by 2015

Minister Chin Soo-Hee of Health & Welfare said that a total of 300,000 in-bound medical tourists are expected to visit Korea a year by 2015. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2nd Healthcare& Medical Tourism Conference (Medical Korea 2011) at COEX in Seoul on April 13, 2011, Minister Chin said that the number of in-bounds to Korea for medical attention has been rapidly increasing from 60,000 in 2009 to 80,000 last year and that Korea is expecting the number to increase to 300,000 a year by 2015.

▲Left photo: Minister Chin Soo-Hee of Health & Welfare speaks at the opening ceremony of the 2nd Healthcare & Medical Tourism Conference at COEX in Seoul on April 13, 2011. Right photo shows a partial view of the opening ceremony of the Conference

Medical Korea 2011 was co-hosted by the Ministry of Health & Welfare and the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism and organized by the Korea Healthcare Industry and Tourism Institute (KHIDI).
Following Minister Chin, President Bupwan Kim of KHIDI stated that medical tourism industry has passed through an introductory period and that now it is meeting a growth period around the world. He noted that medical institutions and providers offer a high-quality service differentiated from other countries and give patients trust for developing global healthcare industry.
A return address was made by Ambassador Konstantin V. Vnokov who congratulated the successful opening of Medical Korea 2011 and disclosed that Russia was very much interested in increasing cooperation and exchange between Korea and Russia in medicine. He said that in fact a good number of Russian medical experts were attending the Conference.

The Conference was attended by a total of over 500 guests from 27 different countries of the world, who included Ambassadors Muteb AL-Mutoteh of Kuwait, Konstantin V. Vnukov of the Russian Federation and Al-Ahmad Al-Barrak of Saudi Arabia; Charge d'Affaires Abdulla Almarzooqi of the United Arab Emirates and Medical Attache Scott Blaker of the United States, many of whom were accompanied by their wives. Among the medical experts attending Medical Korea 2011 were President Allan Yeo of Thomson Medical Centre, President Choi Han-Yong of Samsung Medical Center, President Cho Sang Heon of Seoul National University Hospital Healthcare System, President Young-seon Hong of the Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, President & CEO Park Yong-Won of Yonsei University Health System, President Huh Chu Yeop Kyung Hee University International Medical Service in Gangdong and Vice President Dr. Chang-Sung Son for Health Affairs at Korea University Medical Center.
There also were Director SooWoong Kim of KHIDI, Executive Director SooNam Jim of KTO, President Renee-Marie Stephano of MTA, Executive Director Dr. Desmond Yen of International Business of ACHS and Dr. Heon-Jae Jeong of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Then there were Prof. I. Glenn Cohen of Harvard Law School, COO Wen-Ching H. Niou of MSH China, Chief Cardiology Dr. Jin Sik Park of Sejong Hospital and Director Dr. JungHyun Shim of the Leon Wiltse Memorial Hospital.

▲Minister Chin with foreign envoys and presidents of major hospitals in Korea. Shown here are, from left: President Cho Sang-hun of Seoul National University Gangnam Medical Center, President Hong Young-seon of Seoul St. Mary? Hospital, Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, President Bupwan Kim of KHIDI, President Park Yong-won of Yonsei University Health System, Minister Chin, Ambassador Muteb Al-Mutoteh of Kuwait, President Jung Hee-won of Seoul National University Hospital, Ambassador Vnukov of Russia, Mrs. Vnukov, President Kim Chang-duck of Korea University Anam Hospital, Ambassador Ahmad Al Barrak of Saudi Arabia, Charge' Affaires Abdulla Husein Salman Almarzouqi of the UAE, Medical Attache Scott N. Blaker of the US and Mrs. Paula S. Blaker

In addition, there were Presidents Jung Hee-won of the Korea International Medical Association, Kang Yoon-goo of the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service and Shin Kyunglim of the Korean Nurses Association; and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post
Following the official opening of Medical Korea 2011, Minister Chin hosted an informal meeting with a number of ambassadors and their spouses, whose countries were on the high-priority list for mutual cooperation with the Korean medical industry.
I express my heart-felt gratitude to the Excellencies and Madams from the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the presidents and CEOs from five major general hospitals in Korea for taking time out of their busy schedule for the promotion of cooperation between Korea and their countries in the promotion of cooperation in medicine.
As I stated at the opening ceremony, we had 60,000 medical tourists from overseas in 2009, which increased to 80,000 last year and we are expecting that it will be further increased to around 300,000 by 2015.

▲Minister Chin and major hospital heads of Korea (left row) discuss ways with ambassadors and other senior diplomats to promote cooperation and exchange between Korea and their countries.

▲Minister Chin poses with the ambassadors and other senior diplomats and presidents of representative hospitals in Korea. They are, clockwise, from top left: Minister Chin flanked by Amb. Muteb Al-Mutoteh of Kuwait (left) and President Kim Chang-duck of Korea University Anam Hospital; Minister Chin with Amb. and Mrs. Vnukov (first and second from right) and President & CEO Park Yong-won of Yonsei University Health System; Minister Chin with Amb. Ahmad Al Barrak of Saudi Arabia (right) and President Hong Young-seon of Seoul St. Mary's Hospital

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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