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President Park Geun-hye opens new office building of North Gyeongsang ProvinceWith Governor Kim, Ambassador Malung, other dignitaries

President Park Geun-hye said that the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province has been playing a pivotal role in the development of the Republic of Korea and expressed her hopes that the relocation of the capital city of the Geyongsangbuk-do Province from Daegu to Andong City would contribute to the balanced development of not only the region but also the entire Republic of Korea. Then she said that relocation of the provincial capital would provide the people of the province with all the better living environment and happiness.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the New Office Building of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province in the Andong City, some 134 miles southeast of Seoul, on March 10, 2016 President Park said that specialized industries could be developed in the Gyeongsangbuk-do area fitting to the specific characteristics and requirements of the region as well as promotion of the traditional culture of the region.

▲ President Park Geun-hye and Governor Kim Kwang-yong of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (left and right of the rock sign) pose with, from left, Chairman & CEO Lee Young-kwan of Toray Advanced Materials Korea Inc., CEO Kwon Oh-joon of POSCO, Mayor Gweon Young-sae of Andong City, Governor Lee Si-jong of Chungcheongbuk-do, Mayor Kwon Young-jin of Daegu Metropolitan City Government, Minister Hong Yun-sik of the Interior and Chairman Kim Sun-hong of GBKAFF. On the right from Governor Kim are Chairman Jang Dae-jin of Gyeongsangbuk-do provincial Council, Superintendent Lee Young-woo of Gyeongsangbuk-do Education, Governor Lee Nak-yeon of Jeollanam-do, Ambassador Albingo Mulango of Angola, Mayor Lee Hyun-joon of Yecheon County, Chairman Ryu Mok-ki of the Association of Daegu-Gyeongbuk Citizens in Seoul, Chief Director Park Won-kap of Gyeongsangbuk-do Hyang-kyo Foundation, and Chairperson Kang soon oak of Gyeongsangbuk-do National Council of Women.
The large rock has the brush-written calligraphic inscription of President Park reading in Korean Hangul “The Office of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, President Park Geun-hye, March 10, 2016.”

The ceremony was attended by the leaders of the central and local governments, members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps and prominent figures from the Korean society.
It began with a welcome speech by Governor Kim Kwan-yong of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province. Kim said in part: “The Gyeongsangbuk-do Province is boldly moving out into the world. Based on the long history and excellent cultural assets, we have been performing a principal role in the national development and internationalization of Korea. Our province has been and is the center for the spiritual culture of Korea as seen in the Spirit of the Young Hwarang Warriors of the Silla Dynasty, the gentlemanship inherent in the local people, the safeguarding of the state and the Saemaeul New Community Movement.” (See excerpts from his speech at the end of this Article.)
President Park Geun-hye took special interest in the welfare and development of the province seemingly from the close relationship that she and her deceased parents had had with the region, which, in fact, has been considered the ‘power-seat’ region of President Park and her father.

▲From left, front row: Mrs. Manilath Keodalavong (spouse of the ambassador of Laos), Minister Counsellor Gulmat Khan Zadran of Afghanistan; Ambassadors Suth Dina of Cambodia, Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, Ambassadors Charles Hay of the United Kingdom and Botirjon Asadov of Uzbekistan; President Lee Ji-ha of the New Community Movement Foundation; Ambassadors Albino Malungo of Angola, Elizabeth Nicol of Ghana, Arslan Hakan Okcal of Turkey, Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d'Ivoire, Mamadou Ndiaye of Senega and Dato' Rohana binti Ramli of Malaysia; Counsellor Faith Chola Mbula of Zambia and Mrs. Olga Cendurion (spouse of the ambassador of Paraguay).
From left, rear row: 3rd Secretaries Sein Myint of Myanmar and Sardor Sadikov of Uzbekistan; Ambassadors Thura U Thet Oo Maung of Myanmar and Khamsouay Keodalavong of Laos; Minister Aminu Nasir of Nigeria; Consul
General Alexander S. Vostrikov of the Russian Federation; Ambassador Milton Alcides Magana Herrera of El Salvado; 1st Secretary Champemba Elias of Zambia; First Counsellor Vandromme Johan Michel of the European Union; and Ambassador Hany Selim of Egypt.

In particular, she said in her impressive speech that the government will provide support and assistance for balanced development of the region and a new big leap forward through establishment of various industrial bases such as a Renovation Center for Creative Economy and a Regulation-free Zone that fits various strategic industrial strategies of the provincial region.
Earlier at noon in the Andong City, Vice Governor Chung Byung-yoon of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province hosted a luncheon on behalf of the governor for the visiting members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps. Through Vice Governor Chung, Governor Kim presented his welcome remarks to the visiting diplomats (see excerpts).
In appreciation of the invitation, Ambassador Albino Mulango of Angola, most senior among all the visiting ambassadors and other members of the Diplomatic Corps, said on behalf of all the visiting members of the Diplomatic Corps, “I present this Plaque of Appreciation to Honorable Governor Kim Kwan-yong of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province on behalf of the all the visiting members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps in appreciation of his kind invitation to the Opening Ceremony of the New Office Building of the Province, which greatly contributes to our understanding of the Korean culture as well as the Province.”
A total of some 30 ambassadors, other senior diplomats and their spouses attended the opening ceremony.

▲Ambassadors and other senior diplomats sit in the front and second row from front with Korean dignitaries.

Excerpts from the welcome speech by Governor Kim Kwan-yong:
I present my heart-felt welcome to the distinguished guests at the Opening Ceremony of the New Office Building of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province here today and my warmest gratitude goes to the distinguished guests who have kindly taken time out of their busy schedule to grace the Opening Ceremony of our New Office Building here today!
The temperatures have dipped sharply, which we call Ggotsaem Chui meaning ‘Cold Spell from Winter’s Jealousy of the Beautiful Spring Flowers.’ Considering this inclement weather and temperatures, I am all the more grateful to the distinguished guests here today for their gracious visit here in spite of the inclement weather.
The presence of Your Excellencies and Madams here today adds special meaning to the Opening Ceremony of the newly built Office Building of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province.
The Gyeongsangbuk-do Province is boldly moving out into the world. Based on the long history and excellent cultural assets, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province has been performing an important principal role in the national development and internationalization of the Republic of Korea.
The Gyeongsangbuk-do Province has been the center for the spiritual culture of Korea, i.e., the Spirit of the young Hwarang Warriors of the Silla Dynasty, the gentlemanship, the safeguarding of the state and the Saemaeul New Community Movement.
The Gyeongsangbuk-do Province is noted for the achievement of the unification of the Three Kingdoms, the famed traditional etiquette of the Joseon Dynasty, the modernization and important role it has been performing to date for the modernization of Korea.
The Gyeongsangbuk-do Province has been at the vanguard to usher in a New Era of Local Administration and modernization of the country.
The Gyeongsangbuk-do Province has been playing a leading role also in the development of global culture in Korea.
The Province has been implementing the Silkroad Project, ie, the 2013 Istanbul Expo, 2014 Maritime Silk Road Project, and the Gyeongju Silk Road Expo.

▲Ambassador Charles John Hay of the United Kingdom and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post Media (right and left) at the welcome reception of Governor Kim Kwan-yong of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province. At the meeting, Lee reminisced to Ambassador Hay his employment as an interpreter-translator with the 29th British Brigade during the Korean War, where he stayed for four and half years with the Royal Ulster Rifles, the Norfolk Regiment, the King’s Regiment, the King’s Own Regiment, the Northamptonshire Regiment and the Royal Military Police.

Gyeongsangbuk-do has been contributing to the cultural convergence of the East and West, promotion of exchange with the global community through culture and opening of the era of Cultural Renaissance in Korea.
The Province has greatly contributed to the globalization of the New Community Movement, making it a Korean-style model of the ODA.
The Province has transferred its experience and knowhow to people in Africa for the eradication of poverty and Asia for the development of agriculture.
The Province has dispatched Volunteer Service Teams, trained local peoples to lead the improvement of their living and helped the formation of Millennium Villages.
The Gyeongsangbuk-do Province has established a sisterhood relationship with a total 20 different organizations in 14 different countries of the world, forming a sisterhood relationship and concluding friendship and exchange agreements.
They include Bulsa and Istanbul of Turkey, Irkutsk of Russia, Jakarta of Indonesia, Thaiungguyen of Vietnam, Gaspia of Spain, Leon State of Italy and Tashkent of Uzbekistan.
The Gyeongsangbuk-do Province is moving ahead to become an important land in the world through continued exchange and cooperation.
Move of the Office of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Provincial Government to Andong marks a great development in the 700-year history of the Province.
It is the first time in the 702 years since the establishment of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, in the 120 years of history since the reorganization of the Gyongsangbuk-do and Gyeongsangnam-do, in the 50 years of history of the establishment of the Provincial Government Building in Sangyeok-dong in Daegu 50 years ago, and the 35 years since the promotion of Daegu to the status of a Special City.

▲President Lee Ji-ha of the New Community Movement Foundation (right) receives a Plaque of Appreciation from Ambassador Albino Mulango of Angola on behalf of the Governor of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province. It was in appreciation of Governor Kim’s invitation of the ambassadors and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps to the Opening Ceremony of the Government Building of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province.

A New City is emerging in the Andong-Yecheon District of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province.
The occasion also provides an opportunity for the balanced development of land of the country and an epochal opportunity for the growth of motive strength of the localities.
The new provincial office building represents the traditional beautify of Korea, practicality, economic advantage, taste of Korea and the spirit of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province.
Commenting on the Office Building of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, the architect-turned Secretary General Talleb Lipeye (phonetic) of UNWTO said, “That’s Korea!”
It is a most ultra-modern building that is nature-friendly, first-class in energy-effectiveness, noted for the installation of a super-high speed information-telecommunication system, which all adds to providing an obstacle-free working-living environment.
I would like to express our profound gratitude to all the distinguished ambassadors and other members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps here today on behalf of the Governor of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, who has been eagerly looking forward to the pleasure and honor of personally receiving the distinguished ambassadors and other senior diplomats here at this time. The Governor, however, is unable to be here due to his requirement to be present at the Opening Ceremony.
Once again, I express our sincere apology for his inability to be here due to the preparation of the Opening Ceremony.
We would be grateful if Your Excellencies and other distinguished guests would kindly take strong interest in the New Capital City and the Province on the occasion of your visit here today.

▲Main buildings of the newly dedicated the Office of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province. The complex looks very much like the Presidential Mansion of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul, but many times larger in size.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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