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“We must try to use the experience of Korea’s successful economic development”Ambassador Tito Saul Pinilla P. of the Republic of Colombia in Seoul

“Our country must try to use as reference the successes achieved by the Republic of Korea and other countries to emulate them. Korea is a great example of it. Korea is a country who, in only 19 years, was recognized as a developed country.”
So said Ambassador Tito Saul Pinilla P. of the Republic of Colombia speaking at a reception he and Mrs. Pinilla hosted a reception at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on July 28, 2017 on the occasion of the 207th anniversary of Independence of Colombia.

Mrs. Maria Claudia Latorre Mejia (spouse of the ambassador of Colombia); (spouse of the ambassador of Colombia); Korean War Veterans Alirio Fuentes Lopez and Benjamin Herrera Herrera; Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media; Ambassador Tito Saul Pinilla Pinilla of Colombia; Defense Attache Col. Fredy Marlon Coy Villamil of Colombia; and another Colombian Korean War Veteran Rodrigo Otalora Bueno. The Colombian Army Korean War veterans were attached to the 9th United States Infantry Division during the Korean War. The Colombian troops were noted during the Korean War their chivalry and good fighting, greatly contributing to the defense of the freedom and democracy of Korea.

Then he said, “This is an exemplary achievement. It was achieved not by natural resources among other methods, but rather as Korea has, above all, human resources.”
The most important of the part of the speech came when he said, “I want Colombia to be a country with valuable human resources, that every Colombian can be more and more qualified and educated in all areas of knowledge to give our Colombian society the best.”
However, the most impressive side of the party that night, perhaps, was the presence of the Colombian Korean War veterans who had fought for the freedom of Korea side by side with the Korean and United Nations Forces, namely Alirio Fuentes Lopez and Benjamin Herrera Herrera and Rodrigo Otalora Bueno.
In happy coincidence, the party took place one day after the conclusion of the Korean Armistice 64 years ago on July 27, 1953, which put an end to the bloody conflict between the two divided parts of the Korean peninsula. And it was impressive to see three Korean War veterans attending the party with their spouses, Benjamin Herrera Herrera who fought at one of the bloodiest battles at the Old Baldy Hill in Hwacheon.

Ambassador Pinilla Pinilla of Colombia speaks to the guests.

Another significant aspect of the party from other embassy functions that night were the exceptionally skillful dancers, a man and woman, from Colombia.
Unlike other dancers at diplomatic functions, the two performing artists from Colombia proved a truly wonderful dancing couple. Their mellow body movements were a center of attraction and won great applauses from the guests.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Pinilla follow:

Dear Colombians,

The Article 95 of The Political Constitution of Colombia states, “The quality of a Colombian exalts all members of the national community. Everyone has the duty to enhance and dignify it.” The construction of our country is a matter that depends on each and every one of us. “The value of a nation is nothing but the value of the individuals who compose it,” said John Stuart Mill. Our society is in the process of historical transition, and as Colombians, we must work so that our whole society grows to its greater knowledge, grows in greater productivity and achieves the main challenges of education and equity. It involves joint achievements that are based on the efforts of each member of our nation. It is extremely important to our country that you start companies or acquire knowledge through research, such as how to reconcile as brothers that we are, accepting that we are different with different thoughts, but united under the same destiny of achievement, progress and happiness for all.

Ms. Erika Rivera Jaramillo (left) and José Edwin Vasco Cano of the Colombian salsa dance team

Our country must also use as reference the success achieved by other countries to emulate them. Korea is a great example of it. It is a country that in only 19 years, it was recognized as a developed state. This is an exemplary achievement. It was achieved not by natural resources among other methods, but rather as Korea has, above all, human resources. I want Colombia to be a country with valuable human resources, that every Colombian can be more and more qualified and educated in all areas of knowledge to give our Colombian society the best. I want to pay tribute today to the members of the reserves of the Colombian army who participated in the Korean War. They are with us today. They were the Colombian soldiers who fought for the freedom and democracy of the country we are in. It was thanks to them that Colombia is considered a blood brother of the Koreans. Their courage and determination are exemplars of the new generations today. Let us venerate these people, give them the great courage and respect they deserve and represent. Let us greet them with a loud applause. Also, I would like to praise all the Colombian students who are present today. My message is that they raise the name of Colombia very high. We know of their efforts, we know that getting here has not been easy, but all of this will pay off with much to yield that throughout their lives, they will be rewarded. The embassy is your home, and at the Embassy, we will be ready to collaborate in whatever we can. The financial aid and assistance that are offered by foundations for students are for you and only for you. Each time a student graduates, report it to the Embassy so that we can also exalt, in events like these, those who have obtained a university degree.
Today I also want to exalt what has happened in Colombia with our Colombian athletes. Rigoberto Uran has scored second in the Tour de France. It is the third time that a Colombian occupies a rank of such high dignity in the most prestigious race of the cycling worldwide. What an honor!, This shows that with effort, anything is possible.
I also want to point out another source of great joy that goes unnoticed by the population but nonetheless is very valuable. The number of wounded soldiers entering the Military Hospital of Colombia due to the internal conflict has been reduced by more than 90 percent. The FARC delivered just a few days ago, on the occasion of the peace agreement, more than 7 thousand rifles with which they had carried out a fratricidal confrontation against the State. Is not a reason for happiness? Knowing that our country is on the path of respecting the lives of all members of our society...
Thanks you all for being here. Let us celebrate in peace, in friendship, and with pride of the country and nationality that we represent. Colombia is expecting great successes and you surely will also be the protagonists of these successes.
Viva Colombia (Long Live Colombia)

Sean Kim  edt@koreapost.com

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