“The Belarusian nation sustained many sufferings and sacrifices on the way to the present-day country and statehood. The achievements and strength of mind that Belarusian people demonstrated over the previous historical periods now enable Belarus to enhance its independence and sovereign status in the modern international community.” So said Ambassador Andrei Popkov of Belarus in Seoul at a reception he hosted at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on June 28, 2018 in celebration of the National Day of Belarus.
Then he cited the Korean contributions made to the promotion of relations and cooperation between the two countries. He said, “I also want to mention the outstanding work done by the Honorary Consul of Belarus, President Yoon Kyung-Duk of IK Semicon, honorary consul of Belarus, for broadening the horizons of cooperation between Belarus and Korea over last years.” Amb. Popkov said, “In 2018, in recognition of the merits of Mr. Yoon Kyung-Duk, the Government of the Republic of Belarus decided to bestow its high Award on him--Honorary Diploma of the Government of the Republic of Belarus.”
The reception was attended by many distinguished guests from all segments of Korean society as well as the government as well as ambassadors from many countries accredited to Korea. They included Deputy Minister Kwon Yong-Bok Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Korean Honorary Consul Yoon Kyung Duk for Belarus, and leading figures from various circles from Korean society, including the media whence came Vice Chairman Choi Nam-suk of The Korea Post media.
Attendance from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps was very large on that day with many ambassadors attending with their spouses. Among them were Ambassadors Daul Matute mejia of Peru, Nguyen Vu Tu of Viet Nam, Yasumasa Nagamine of Japan, Emma-Francoise Isumbingabo of Rwanda, Thura Thet Oo Maung of Myanmar, Irineo Raúl Silvero Silvagni of Paraguay, Aleksandr Timonin of Russia, and Ambassador Singtong Lapisatepun of Thailand.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Popkov of Belarus:
This is a great honour to address you on this remarkable occasion for the Belarusian people - the celebration of the Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus.
Belarusian nation sustained many sufferings and sacrifices on the way to the present-day country and statehood. The achievements and strength of mind that Belarusian people demonstrated over the previous historical periods now enable Belarus to enhance its independence and sovereign status in the modern international community.
Due to a long life in specific geopolitical and geographical conditions as well as big losses and destructions during two world wars Belarusians give much value to the peace and stability, in particular, in our region and Eurasian continent.
We welcome the recent peaceful initiatives and international instruments for mitigating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, promoting inter-Korean reconciliation and ensuring denuclearization on the basis of international law. The latest developments give hope for good outcomes of the dialogue and interplay between the parties engaged.
I would like to emphasize one more time our adherence to the upholding of international non-proliferation regimes. Belarusian experience of giving up nuclear arms inherited after the Soviet Union in the free manner and with the support of interested powers could be an example for security on the Korean peninsula.
Belarus stands for deepening collaboration and integration in Eurasia. We are striving for lasting and constructive relations with our neighbors and all the friendly States. We are open to maintaining respectful, stable and dynamic relations with any country.
Today’s Belarus is a member of different regional integration organizations. It also expands a dialogue and develops partnerships with authoritative European institutions, primarily, with the European Union.
The Eurasian Economic Union consisting of five Eurasian States is the most prominent and promising regional international organization for our country. Belarus as a founding Member State supports the well-weighted proposals for laying the foundation for significant economic, industrial and investment cooperation between the EAEU and the Republic of Korea.
Belarus shares the vision for the peace and co-prosperity of the Eurasian continent that is an integral part of the New Northern Policy initiated by the administration of the President of the Republic of Korea Н.Е. Mr. Moon Jae-in. In this regard, I hope that the Presidential Committee on the Northern Economic Cooperation will be well conducive in diversifying mutually beneficial relations with the Republic of Belarus and other northern Eurasian countries.
At the same time, we believe that the only harmonization of integration processes with all due respect to the interests of the countries in Eurasia at large can better serve the purposes of closer cooperation. This thesis is consistently advanced by Belarus at various fora.
The year 2018 would be characterized as a step forward in bilateral relations of the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Korea.
First of all, I express our appreciation of the efforts to extend inter-parliamentary ties exercised by the Korea-Belarus Parliamentary Friendship Group and, in person, the Chairman of the Group, Member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Honourable Lee Won Wook.
The joint meeting of parliamentarians of both countries in Minsk in January 2018 contributed to the better understanding of positions of both countries on many issues and prospects of cooperation.
I also want to mention the outstanding work done by the Honorary Consul of Belarus, President “IK Semicon” Mr. Yoon Kyung-Duk for broadening the horizons of cooperation between Belarus and Korea over last years. In 2018, in recognition of the merits of Mr. Yoon Kyung-Duk, the Government of the Republic of Belarus decided to bestow its high Award on him – Honorary Diploma of the Government of the Republic of Belarus. This Award will be presented later on today.
The accomplishments of this year would not be possible without active role of the National Research Foundation of the Republic of Korea, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), National Agency of Information Society of the Republic of Korea, Korea Trade Network (KTNET) and Korea Importers Association (KOIMA).
The number of remarkable events took place between our countries to strengthen scientific and business exchanges as well as to implement new projects of cooperation in the areas of sciences, information technologies and infrastructure.
We believe that the practical cooperation between Belarus and Korea will further intensify and widen to successfully respond to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and cover cooperation in such fields as aerospace, artificial intelligence, biotechnologies, electric and self-driving vehicles, robotics and electronics, nano-materials and digital economy. The ongoing legislative and other measures in Belarus will form a favorable environment for creating future growth engines.
I would also take this opportunity to thank the Korean authorities for the successful hosting of the 2018 PyeonChang Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games. These Games brought new sport sensations to many countries, including Belarus. Furthermore, these Games opened a new page in our cooperation with Korea – the exchange of experience in hosting big sport events. In the years to come Belarus will become a venue for some important sport competitions, mainly, the 2nd European Games in 2019 and the World Hockey Championship in 2021 (together with Latvia).
The Republic of Belarus attaches great importance to cooperation with the Republic of Korea as a leading and highly technological country in the North East Asia.
We are committed to work together for the fulfillment of other plans to strengthen relations for the friendship and prosperity of our nations. I am confident that we will witness a lot of new achievements in faithful and mutually beneficial Belarus-Korea cooperation in the years to come.
Excerpts from the speech of Honorary Consul Yoon Kyung-duk of Belarus:
It is a great privilege for me to receive the Certificate of Merit of the Government of the Republic of Belarus. I am honored that my work as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Belarus is appreciated so highly.
Belarus and Korea established diplomatic relations 26 years ago and during that time our countries have made a significant progress in cooperation in different areas: science and technologies, IT, e-governance, etc.
I am proud that I have also contributed to the development of Belarus-Korean ties. For over 20 years I have been working with the largest Belarusian companies – producers of electronics, semiconductors, automotive parts. My experience has proved the high quality of Belarusian products and excellent qualification of Belarusian experts and engineers.
I am confident that both countries have a lot in common and there are of promising areas of bilateral cooperation, such as the automobile industry, electronics, aerospace, chemistry, pharmaceutical industry, IT and software development.
I hope that Belarus and Korea will boost their cooperation in various fields, strengthening bilateral ties through academic, cultural and business exchanges.
As the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Belarus I will dedicate my efforts to ensuring prosperous and mutually beneficial relations between our countries.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Embassy of Belarus for this award and this special celebration.
I want you to raise your glasses in the honor of the Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus. For peace, prosperity and long-lasting friendship of Belarus and Korea!