By Lee Kyung-sik with Choe Nam-suk and Won Hwi
The Korea Post media
The spacious Crystal Ballroom of the Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul had ‘another Crystal Ballroom’ last night (Aug 29, 2017) where the Embassy of Viet Nam (Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tu and Mrs. Tran Thi Lan Hinh) hosted a gala fashion parade after a dinner reception at the spacious hall in front of the ballroom.
An estimated 800 Korean and international guests completely filled the spacious lobby area in front of the ballroom and had their fill of the mouth-watering culinary wonders of Viet Nam and the international cuisine.
The rare diplomatic function that night, perhaps the largest this year or even in many years, featured, besides the wonderful spread of repast, a gala fashion parade of the traditional costumes of Viet Nam and Korea.
In sheer contrast with a similar function of China in Seoul Aug. 8 when a Foreign Ministry vice minister attended, the Vietnamese function was favored with an incomparably higher-ranking officials of the Korean government and prominent civic figures from all walks of life.
They included Minister of Interior & Safety Kim Boo-kyum (one of the right-hand men of President Moon Jae-in), Vice Minister Cho Hyun of Foreign Affairs (who came on behalf of the minister), Rep. Kim Hak-yong of main opposition Korea Liberty Party, and chief executive officers of a large number of leading business groups of Korea, including Chairman Kihak Sung of Youngone Business Group, who is, in a way, has business interests more widely spread out in the world than Korea’s leading business groups. From the media came representatives of many leading news organizations, including Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications.
From the Vietnamese side, the attendees included Deputy Minister Ha Kim Ngoc of Foreign Affairs, Secretary General Le Luong Minh of ASEAN, and Deputy Chairwoman Truong Thi Anh of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council.
Attendance from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps was also very large. Among them, off hand, were Ambassadors Alexander Andreevich Tomonin of Russia, Adulah Sarif Ali Saleem Al-Nuaimi of United Arab Emirates, Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, James Choi of Australia, Andrei Popkov of Belarus, Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d'Ivoire, Uri Gutman of Israel, John A. Prasetio of Indonesia, Wadee Batti Hanna Al-Batti of Iraq, Niroshani Manisha Dias Abeywickrema Gunasekera of Sri Lanka, Omrie Michael Golley of Sierra Leone, Nozuko Gloria Bam of South Africa, Val Sarun Charoensuwan of Thailand, Ruben Eloy Arosemena Valdes of Panama, Raul S. Hernandez of the Philippines, Ruben Eloy Arosemena Valdes of Panama, and Mohamed Abdi Gello of Kenya.
There also were many congratulatory flowers from various business groups and associations. They included those from Chairman Koo Bon-moo of LG Group, Chairman Lee Dae Bong of CharmvitGroup, Chairman Shin Myong-jin of Korea Importers Association, Chairman Y.H. Cho of Korean Air, Chairman Park Sang Woo of Korea Land & Housing Corp, President Lee Byung-gon of KIST, Chairman Choi Young-joo of Pan Ko (concurrently chairman of the Korea-Viet Nam Friendship Association), CEO Lee Mok-woon of Heerim Construction, Chairman Lee Dal-kun of Korea-Viet Nam Culture Exchange Association, and Chairman Kwak Jae-woo of Korea-Vietnam Friendship, Cooperation and Exchange Association.
The buffet dinner was followed by the main event, a gala fashion parade featuring costumes of Viet Nam and Korea.
Against the backdrop of Hue Court Music, a wide variety of traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai costumes were presented by shapely models representing the varieties of past and present. Then there were various traditional wedding costumes of Viet Nam.
Ambassador Nguyen made a very impressive speech: He said in part: “The words of President Moon Jae-in at the commemoration of the 72nd Anniversary of Liberation of Korea this August 15 brought strong resonance with the experience of Viet Nam when he said ‘Liberation was not something that was just given to us. It was something that was regained by our 30 million forefathers who kept the flame for freedom and independence alive even when they were deprived of everything. Liberation was the reward for the sacrifices, dedication, and blood of our patriotic forefathers.’ ”“Today,” said Ambassador Nguyen, “Viet Nam has risen to a middle-income country. The average growth rate per annum from 1986 to 2016 was almost 7%. Viet Nam has established diplomatic relations with over 170 countries. Viet Nam is an active member of many international organizations. This year, Viet Nam is hosting APEC 2017.” (See excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Nguyen toward the end of this article.)
The year 2017 is a special year for Korea and Viet Nam.
It marks the 25th year since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Viet Nam.
Since the two countries signed the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, the relations between the two countries have grown literally by leaps and bounds at a ‘wondrous’ speed.
Korea has now invested a total of over US$50 billion and Viet Nam has become the third largest importing country from the Republic of Korea. The total volume of bilateral trade last year topped US$45.1 billion.
The exchange of visitors between Korea and Viet Nam is also outstanding. Last year, a total of 1.75 million Korean and Vietnamese people exchanged visits between the two countries. The Vietnamese tourists visiting Korea are also increasing rapidly.
The Korean community is Viet Nam is growing very fast and not it totals over 140,000 people.
The Vietnamese people, viewed by the majority of Korean people, are kind, hard-working and very cooperative in nature, ready to help and be helped.
Perhaps the strongest impression made upon the Korean people in the early days of diplomatic relations between the two countries is Ambassador Nguyen Pho Binh. He worked very hard and is rated as one of the greatest contributors to the promotion of relations and cooperation between the two countries.
Many years therefrom, now the two countries have a Vietnamese lady contributor to the promotion of relations and friendship between the two peoples. She is Madam Lan Hinh Tran, spouse of the incumbent Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tu of Viet Nam in Seoul.
Madam Tran actively participates in various non-political activities, including the cultural, social and welfare activities for the less-privileged people such those hosted by the Korean National Red Cross Society and the local governments.
Madam Tran also tries not to miss local tours organized by The Korea Post media which has been doing for the past 32 years from the inception of the media in 1965.
As much as possible, Madam Tran ties not to miss the opportunity to be exposed to the local Korean people during the country culture tours of The Korea Post, who are the ‘real Koreans’ vis-à-vis the ‘cosmopolitan’ ones in Seoul and other large cities of the country.
Thus, through active participation in various social-cultural activities in Korea, Madam Tran is implementing the principle of famed Korean scholar-mother, Madam Shim Saim-dang, who is on the 50,000-won Korean bank note, highest in denomination among all currencies used in Korea today.
Welcome address by Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tu
Thank you for joining us as we are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Viet Nam ? Korea Diplomatic Relations and the 72nd National Day of Viet Nam in Seoul.
Let me begin by saying how honored and delighted I am to welcome each and every one of you to our celebrations. I wish to express my special gratitude to Vice Minister Cho Hyun Secretary General Le Luong Minh, and Vice Minister Ha Kim Ngoc, Deputy Chair Truong Ngoc Anh for gracing us with your presence.
September 2nd is a day for celebration for Vietnamese and also an occasion for us to reflect on the heritage of our country as a sovereign nation and the valiant struggles we have undertaken to achieve, protect, and maintain nationhood.
72 years ago, on September 2nd, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh delivered the Declaration of Independence, giving birth to the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam. The past 72 years is the annals of immeasurable efforts made by the people of Viet Nam in overcoming numerous challenges for the protection and preservation of national independence, liberty and territorial integrity, the attainment of a normal and conducive international environment for nation-building, and the achievement of well-being for its citizens.
The words of President Moon Jae-in at the commemoration of the 72nd Anniversary of Liberation of Korea this August 15 brought strong resonance with the experience of Viet Nam when he said: “Liberation was not something that was just given to us. It was something that was regained by our 30 million forefathers who kept the flame for freedom and independence alive even when they were deprived of everything. Liberation was the reward for the sacrifices, dedication, and blood of our patriotic forefathers”.
Today, Viet Nam has risen to a middle-income country. The average growth rate per annum from 1986 to 2016 was almost 7%. Viet Nam has established diplomatic relations with over 170 countries. Viet Nam is an active member of many international organizations. This year, Viet Nam is hosting APEC 2017.
This year, Viet Nam and Korea celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. In the last quarter of a century, cultural and historical similarities, economic complementarities, friendship and concerted efforts made by the Governments and the people of the two countries have provided the basis for a rapid, robust, and effective growth across the board, bringing benefits to both countries and making it an exemplary bilateral relationship.
Viet Nam consistently attaches importance to its relations with Korea. In 2009, Viet Nam and Korea elevated the bilateral relationship to a strategic cooperative partnership. The two countries are working to further deepen the political, security, and defense ties. Viet Nam took note with appreciation President Moon Jae In’s dispatch of a Special Envoy soon after he won the election and his reaffirmation to bring Korea’s relationship with ASEAN, Viet Nam is an ASEAN member, up to the level of Korea’s relationship with the key countries.
On the economic front, Korea is now the number 1 foreign investor in Viet Nam with registered capital of 56 billion USD, a 3 fold increase as compared with 2012. Korea is number 2 trade partner of Viet Nam, total trade volume was doubled in the past 5 years. Korea is also the number 2 provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Viet Nam. Korea is also the number 2 source of tourists traveling to Viet Nam. I hope two way tourism will continue to rise as Viet Nam offers the world “timeless charms,” while Korea is attractive to Vietnamese tourists as a trendy and cutting-edge travel destination under the slogan “Imagine Your Korea.”
Each country is hosting about 150,000 citizens from the other country. I am pleased to see dozens of thousands of bi-cultural Viet-Han families leading happy life. They are an additional link that bonds our nations together. An increasing number of Vietnamese students choose to pursue their studies in Korea. Educational exchange remains a potential for greater cooperation in the near future. I sincerely hope that Korea will play a bigger role in Viet Nam’s endeavors for capacity-building and human resource development.
May I take this opportunity to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government, the National Assembly, the friendship organizations, the businesses, and the people of Korea for their warm friendship and effective co-operation as we have seen in the strong growth of the bilateral relationship, the socio-economic development of Viet Nam, and the community of Vietnamese living, working, and studying in Korea.
In closing, I would like to offer my best wishes for (i) an even stronger Viet Nam-Korea friendship and cooperation, serving the development and prosperity of our respective countries; (ii) continued success of the government and people of the Republic of Korea; and (iii) the good health of all Honored Guests, Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Resume of President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (Presidential Office of Cheong Wa Dae)
Date of Birth: January 24, 1953
Place of Birth: Geoje Island, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, Korea
Marital Status: Married to Kim Jung‐sook with a son, a daughter and two grandsons
1980: LL.B., Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
1971: Graduated from Kyungnam High School, Busan, Korea
2017: President of the Republic of Korea
2017: Presidential Candidate of the Democratic Party of Korea for the 19th presidential election
2015: Chairperson of the Democratic Party of Korea
2014: Member of Interim Committee of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy Chairperson of the Nuclear Plant Special Countermeasure Committee
2013: Standing Advisor of the Democratic United Party
2012: Candidate of the Democratic United Party for the 18th presidential election Member of the 19th National Assembly from Sasang-gu, Busan
2011: Standing Co-representative for Innovation and Integration
2010: Chairperson of the Roh Moo-hyun Foundation
2007: Chief of Staff to the President of the Republic of Korea Chairperson of the Promotion Committee for the 2nd South-North Summit
2005: Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs
2004: Senior Secretary to the President for the Civic and Social Agenda
2003: Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs
1982: Opened a law office specializing in human rights and civil society with Roh Moo-hyun, who became the president of Korea for the 16th term
2011: Mun Jae-inui Unmyeong (Moon Jae-in’s Destiny)
2012: Sarami Meonjeoda (People Come First)
2012: Moon Jae-ini Deurimnida (Presented to You by Moon Jae-in)
2013: Ggeuchi Sijagida (The End is the Beginning)
2017: Daehanmingugi Munneunda (Questions from the Republic of Korea)
2017: Unmeyong-eseo Huimang-euro (From Destiny to Hope)
Resume of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong of the Communist Party of Vietnam (Wikipedia)
1957-1963: Student at the Nguyen Gia Thieu junior and senior high schools in Gia Lam district, Hanoi
1963-1967: Student at the Linguistics Faculty of Hanoi General University .
December 1967- July 1968: Officer at the Documentary Desk of the Study Review (now the Communist Review)
July 1968-August 1973: Editor of the Party Building Department of the Communist Review. He experienced a period of probation in Thanh Oai district, Ha Tay province (now Hanoi ) in 1971 and was Secretary of the Youth Union of the Communist Review from 1969 to 1973
August 1973-April 1976: Underwent a political-economic post-graduate course at the High-level Nguyen Ai Quoc Party School (now the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration), member of the Party cell committee.
May 1976-August 1980: Editor of the Party Building Department of the Communist Review, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee
September 1980-August 1981: Learnt Russian at the high-level Nguyen Ai Quoc Party School
September 1981-July 1983: On-the-job trainee and defended Associate PhD thesis (now PhD thesis) in Party building at the Academy of Social Sciences of the Soviet Union
August 1983-February 1989: Deputy head of the Party Building Department, the Communist Review (October 1983); Head of the Party Building Department, the Communist Review (September 1987); Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Communist Review (July 1985-December 1988) and then Secretary (December 1988-December 1991)
March 1989-April 1990: Member of the Editorial Board of the Communist Review
May 1990-July 1991: Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Communist Review
August 1991-August 1996: Editor-in-Chief of the Communist Review
January 1994-now: Member of the CPVCC (7th, 8th, 9th and 10th tenures)
August 1996-February 1998: Deputy Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, Head of the Hanoi Party Committee's department in charge of tertiary education personnel, and head of the Hanoi Party Committee's Popularisation and Education Board
December 1997-now: Member of the Political Bureau of the CPVCC (8th, 9th and 10th tenures)
February 1998-January 2000: In charge of the Party Central Committee's Ideological-Cultural and Scientific-Educational Affairs
August 1999-April 2001: Permanent member of the Party Politburo
March 1998-August 2006: Vice Chairman of the CPVCC's Theoretical Council (March 1998-November 2001); Chairman of the CPVCC's Theoretical Council in charge of the Party's theoretical work (November 2001-August 2006)
January 2000-June 2006: Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee (12th, 13th and 14th tenures).
May 2002-now: Deputy to the 11th and 12th National Assembly
Trong meets Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, 29 September 2016
June 2006-July 2011: Secretary of the National Assembly's Party Organisation, Chairman of the National Assembly and member of the Council for Defence and Security
Elected General Secretary of the 11th CPVCC at the 11th National Party Congress in January 2011
January 2016: Re-elected General Secretary of the 11th CPVCC at the 12th National Party Congress.