The following article was contributed by Eurasia 21 Chairman Kim Seung-dong to The Korea Post media for publication.—Ed.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of 'Russia Day', which has been celebrated as a national day since 1992.
The diplomatic establishment between Korea and Russia celebrated the 30th anniversary last year. Giving meaning to aging together shoulder to shoulder with a difference of one year like this, in modern history, Russia and Korea have a warm feeling that they have been childhood friends since childhood.
At the intersection of South Korea's New Northern Policy and Russia's New Eastern Policy, there is the "Eastern Forum" being held every year in Vladivostok. It is a meaningful meeting place to present and discuss the big picture and vision that connects Eurasia and Northeast Asia.
The advancement and development of the Far East, which began in 1861 when the first Russians moved to Vladivostok, did not proceed at a much faster pace than the potential value of the Far East and its importance. Fortunately, the Eastern Forum, which has been held every year since 2015, has been adding to its role over the years. At the same time, there are a lot of assignments to be solved. Nevertheless, it remains true that the ongoing discussions at the Eastern Forum are serving to accelerate Russia's entry into Northeast Asia.
Russia, which encompasses a vast land from Kaliningrad in northwestern Europe on the other end to Kamchatka in the Far East, has a history as long as its territory, various cultures, arts, high-tech science and technology including aerospace and marine science, and abundant underground resources. And there are countless things to be proud of, such as aquatic resources. As a good example, 60 Russian helicopters 'Kamov' and 'MI' introduced by a Korean general trading company a long time ago were very active, especially for forest fire extinguishing. If the Korean-Russian governments do not forget the value of such successful cooperation and continue to create more, it will bear the beautiful fruit of mutual prosperity.
It would be good if Korea and Russia jointly develop a business to revitalize commodity production and market it in the global market in the future. If the public and private sectors, including not only the aerospace sector, but also the medical sector, IT sector, and marine and fisheries industry, discuss with each other and solve problems that hinder trade between the two countries and actively act as helpers for a multi-dimensional approach, we will be in a better environment than now. The endless fields of Korea-Russia joint cooperation at the private level will shine. We look forward to seeing these become a reality in the future.
K-Culture, such as K-Pop, K-Food, and K-Beauty, is widely known around the world. It is a fact that everyone knows that this has an unparalleled ripple effect, compared to the efforts of thousands of diplomats sweating to promote South Korea. Economic trade is of paramount importance to Korea-Russia exchanges, but I believe that it will be of great help to smooth economic exchanges if the peoples of the two countries get closer and understand each other's historical environment and sentiments. In other words, I hope that we all do not overlook the need to revitalize cultural exchanges such as history, customs, literature, and art between the two countries.
Eurasia 21, which I am the chairman of the board, was registered with the Secretariat of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea in October 2017, and is designed to help the 21st century Eurasia continent countries and the Republic of Korea share each other's stages and communicate more easily and more closely. It is a non-profit private organization of Russian and Central Asian experts who have come together to act as a bridgehead.
When I was young, I was always with Russia. I sincerely hope that all those long and short experiences, which were brilliant and sometimes painful, are now deep in my bones and become a small force in the exchanges between Korea and Russia and bear bigger fruits in the future.
On the occasion of Russia Day, I would like to express my gratitude to many people for giving me this opportunity to express my congratulatory message to Russia and my hopes for the development of Korea-Russia exchanges.