UPDATE : 2019.6.18 TUE 11:49
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‘President Duque of Colombia may visit Seoul in the second half of New Year’Colombian Foreign Minister Trujillo discloses at a meeting with The Korea Post

By The Korea Post staff reporters Young-woong Lee, Daniel Lee

President Ivan Duque Marquez of the Republic of Colombia may make an Official State Visit to the Republic of Korea in the second half of next year. This was disclosed at a press conference Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Holmes Trujillo Garcia of Colombia had with The Korea Post media and other media organizations at the Embassy of Colombia in Seoul on Dec. 18, 2018.

President Ivan Duque Marquez of the Republic of Colombia. Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Holmes Trujillo Garcia of Colombia told The Korea Post at a press conference that President Duque may visit Seoul in the New Year for talks with President Moon Jae-in. The Colombian Presidential visit is expected to further increase Korean-Colombian cooperation to a new height in view of the fact that Colombia was the only country in the Central-American region to come to the rescue of Korea from Communist aggression during the 1950-3 Korean War. See further details on the President toward the end of this interview.--Ed.

Minister Trujillo discussed a wide range of topics the interview, which included ways to further increase bilateral cooperation in the political, economic and various other areas.

Foreign Minister Carlos Holmez Trujillo-Garcia of Colombia is flanked on the right by Minister of Unification Cho Myoung-Gyon and Ambassador Juan Pablo Rodriguez Barragan of Colombia on the left.

Excerpts from the remarks of Minister Trujillo at the press meeting follow:

President Duque’s visit Korea:
Yesterday morning I meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Korea, Mrs. Kang Kyung-wha. We had a fruitful exchange of ideas on how to strength the political, economic and cooperation agenda. We agreed to explore a State Visit of President Ivan Duque Marquez of Colombia to Korea during the second half of 2019 to strengthen our strategic association. We agree on the importance to fulfill the potential of our Free Trade Agreement, improving the approval of sanitary process in Korea, taking into account Colombia´s potential as a major agricultural provider.

Foreign Minister Carlos Holmez Trujillo-Garcia of Colombia flanked by The Korea Post Reporters Young-woong Lee (right) and Daniel Lee.

Korea-Colombia free trade agreement:
The Colombian government dispenses a significant place to our bilateral relation that was elevated in 2011 to the highest level of “Association of Strategic Cooperation”. A second milestone in our relation is the Free Trade Agreement, in force since 2016. Korea is the only Asian country with which Colombia has a FTA. Finally, as you know, our relation is very special due to our participation in the Korean War (1950-1953). During these two days I had the opportunity to hold very important meetings with our Korean counterparts covering political, economic, cooperation and cultural issues.

Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha (right) shakes hands with her Colombian counterpart Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Holmes Trujillo Garcia of Colombia

Meeting with Foreign Minister Mrs. Kang:
Yesterday morning I meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Korea, Mrs. Kang Kyung-wha. We had a fruitful exchange of ideas on how to strength the political, economic and cooperation agenda. We agreed to explore a State visit of President Duque to Korea during the second half of 2019 to strengthen our strategic association. We agree on the importance to fulfill the potential of our Free Trade Agreement, improving the approval of sanitary process in Korea, taking into account Colombia´s potential as a major agricultural provider.
The Minister expressed as well Korea’s support to President Duque’s policy to implement the peace agreement with FARC, with modifications. On my side, I expressed the Colombian Government support to the dialogue between the two Koreas and our hope that decisive advances will be achieved in denuclearization and the establishment of lasting peace in the region. I personally visited the DMZ to witness the progress achieved in a short period of time.
We also reviewed how to cooperate on infrastructure, creative industries, security, e-government and transparency, among other areas. I reiterated our support to Korea as candidate to be Associated State of the Pacific Alliance and Korea supported the Colombian desire to join Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum APEC. Both countries, as members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD will cooperate in areas of common ground.

Minister Trujillo (right) shakes hands with Minister of Unification Cho Myoung-Gyon.

Meeting with Unification Minister Cho:
I had the opportunity to meet the Minister of Unification Mr. Cho Myoung-Gyon. We agreed to continue working on technical cooperation between the Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR in Spanish) and the Ministry of Unification in areas such as professional roles, economic support, productivity and information systems for reintegration, and to identify a mechanism to formalize these exchanges.

Foreign Minister Carlos Holmez Trujillo-Garcia of Colombia (right) and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post

Meeting with Vice President Chung of KOICA:
I met yesterday Mr. Wooyong Chung, vice president of the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). We reviewed the status of the technical cooperation, highlighting the positive outcomes of the Association of Strategic Cooperation in areas such as rural development, productivity and education, and agreed to work in areas related to immigration, sustainable development, donation of medical equipment and creative industries - particularly on information technologies, entertainment and culture.

Foreign Minister Trujillo (left) with President Sung-soo Eun of Eximbank of Korea

Meeting with Korean business leaders:
Today I had a breakfast with Korean enterprises, and shared to them President Duque´s administration objectives on economic development. I highlighted the potential of Colombia as an agricultural producer and we reviewed new Colombian products that arrived to Korea after the entry into force of the Free Trade agreement, such as pitahaya and shrimps. We hope to receive more Korean investment and see more Colombian products in the Korean market. We agreed as well to create a working group – a unit that contributes to further the implementation of our FTA.

Foreign Minister Trujillo (fourth form left) and Ambassador Juan Pablo Rodriguez Barragan (fourth from left and far left) pose with, from left, Reporter Daniel Lee (second), Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik (third), Vice Chairperson Cho Kyung-hee (sixth) and Reporter Lee Young-woong (far right).

Meeting with National Assembly and bank representatives:
I met then the Parliamentary Association of Friendship between Colombia and Korea. We expect to strengthen the bilateral relation by exchanging visits and contacts between the National Assembly of Korea and the Colombian Congress.
Finally, I also met Mr. Sung-soo Eun President of Eximbank. We made a balance about the cooperation projects and agreed to work together in areas such as education, infrastructure -addressing projects like the Bogota subway-, agribusiness, cyber-security and smart cities. I expressed our gratitude for the resources that Korea devoted through the Inter-American Development Bank IADB to develop projects related to the creative economy in Colombia.
I end this visit believing our bilateral relation is deep, strong and with a promising future. I am sure that both governments and private sectors will keep working hard to expand and improve this fruitful relation.

Editor’s note:
Colombia is a Central-South American country whom Korea owes greatly for the freedom and independence the Korean people enjoy today. During the Korean War (1950-3), Colombia sent over 5,000 combat troops to fight on the side of the Republic of Korea soldiers to repel the North Korean and Chinese Communist Forces. Koreans call them ‘blood-forged allies.’
Colombia has a land space which is over five times that of the Korean peninsula and has a population of nearly 50 million, slightly larger that of the Republic of Korea.
In particular, Ambassador Juan Pablo Rodriguez Barragan of Colombia in Seoul is known among the Korean people as a very active promoter of relations and friendship between the two people.

Resume of Minister Trujillo:
Colombia's Foreign Minister is a lawyer with broad experience in diplomacy matters and in the public affairs in Colombia.
Mr. Trujillo has a law degree from the University of Cauca, with graduate studies in Criminal Law and Criminology. He has other graduate studies in the Sophia University of Tokyo, where he took his Masters in International Business. He has also taken a number of courses on management in Japan. Among his extensive diplomatic experiences, he worked as Colombian Consul in Tokyo 1976-1982, chargé d'affaires for Colombia in Japan in 1979-1980, and Ambassador and permanent representative of Colombia to the OAS in 1995-1997.
He was Colombian Ambassador to the Government of Austria in 1998-1999, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations in 1998-1999; Ambassador to the Russian Federation in 1999-2001; Ambassador to the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden (2004-2006), concurrent for Norway (2004-2006), Finland (2004-2006), Iceland (2005-2006) and Denmark (2004-2006).
He was also Ambassador of Colombia to the Kingdom of Belgium and to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and Head of Mission to the European Union (2006-2011);
Carlos Holmes Trujillo was a member of the Constituent Assembly for the drafting of the 1991 Constitution, and Mayor of Cali in 1988-1990. And he was the founder and first President of the Federation of Municipalities in 1989-1990.
From 1992 to 1994 he was Minister of Education, and then High Commissioner for Peace. He was Minister of the Interior in 1997-1998, and Minister Delegated with Presidential functions.
He is also recognized for his academic work as a lecturer in several universities in Colombia, including the San Buenaventura of Cali, and the Sergio Arboleda and Rosario universities in Bogota.

President: Ivan Duque Márquez(the left side of the back row) , the first lady María Juliana Ruiz Sandoval(the right side of the back row), Luciana, Eloísa, Matías(from the left side of the front row)

Resume of President Iván Duque Márquez of the Republic of Colombia

Born: 1 August 1976 (age 42), Bogotá, Colombia
Political party: Democratic Center

Iván Duque Márquez is a Colombian politician, banker and lawyer who is the current President of Colombia, in office since 7 August 2018.
Formerly, he served as a senator. He was the Democratic Centre Party's candidate in the 2018 presidential election.
Duque was born in Bogotá, the son of Juliana Márquez Tono (political scientist) and Iván Duque Escobar who served as auditor in the United Nations, governor of Antioquia, Minister of Mines and Energy, president of several companies, unions and public and private institutions, as well as the head of the National Registry of Civil Status during the Government of Andrés Pastrana.
Duque attended Colegio Rochester and graduated from Sergio Arboleda University in Bogotá in 2000 with a degree in law. He holds an LLM in International Economic Law from American University and a Master's in Public Policy Management from Georgetown University, Washington D.C. Duque also attended Harvard University, where he studied business and government. He began his professional career in 1999 as a consultant in the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) and later served as an advisor at the Colombian Ministry of Finance and Public Credit during the government of Andrés Pastrana (1998 - 2002).
Subsequently, he worked at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) between 2001 and 2013. There he served as Senior Adviser to the Executive Board for Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, Advisor to the Presidency, and chief of the Division of Culture, Solidarity, and Creativity.
Duque also served a period as international advisor of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Between 2010 and 2011, he was a consultant at the United Nations (UN) in the Research Panel appointed by the Secretary-General for the Incident of the Gaza Flotilla that occurred on May 31st, 2010, between Israel and Turkey, known as Mavi Marmara.
Duque returned to Colombia to become a candidate for the Senate in the legislative elections of 2014, for the Partido Centro Democrático (Democratic Center Party) led by right wing former president Uribe.

During his time as a senator, he was the author of four laws: Law 1822 of January 4, 2017, increasing the maternity leave from 14 to 18 weeks, so mothers could spend more time with their newborn children, a benefit that was also extended to adoptive mothers.
Law 1831 of May 2, 2017, for the availability of defibrillators in public facilities and places of high public influx, in order to save lives, since heart attacks are the leading cause of death in Colombia.
Law 1809 of September 29, 2016, for the use of advanced severance payments for educational insurance, so that more families can send their children to the university.
Law 1834 of May 23, 2017, the "Orange Law" for the promotion, development and protection of the creative and cultural industries.
On 10 December 2017, Duque was appointed by his party as its candidate for President of Colombia. He won the nomination through a system of surveys conducted by the party, with a 29.47% favorability compared to the other two candidates: Carlos Holmes Trujillo who obtained 20.15%, and Rafael Nieto with 20.06%. In January 2018, it was announced that the center-right coalition would participate in the Grand Primary for Colombia –an interparty consultation- with Duque as its candidate confronting Marta Lucía Ramírez (civil-center right movement) and Alejandro Ordóñez (right wing civil movement)[9]. On 11 March 2018, Duque won the primary with more than 4 million votes. Ramírez was second, with just over 1.5 million votes, and Ordóñez made third with 385,000 votes. During his speech, Duque thanked the support of Colombians at the polls and announced Marta Lucía Ramírez as his running mate in the elections.
On 27 May 2018, Duque earned the most votes in the first round of the presidential election with over 39% of the vote.
Duque was elected President of Colombia on 17 June 2018 after defeating Gustavo Petro 54% to 42% in the second round. He was sworn in on 7 August 2018 at the Bogota's Bolivar Square.

Published works:
Iván Duque is the author of the books Monetary Sins (2007), Machiavelli in Colombia (2010), Orange Effect (2015), IndignAcción (IndignAction) (2017) and is co-author of the book The Orange Economy: An Infinite Opportunity (2013). On March 12, 2018, he released The Future is at the Political Center (El futuro está en el centro), a compilation of the answers to questions that have arisen from Colombians during the campaign.
Duque has also been an Op-Ed contributor to several newspapers: El Colombiano, from Medellín; Portafolio and El Tiempo from Casa Editorial El Tiempo in Bogotá; and El País in Spain.
Duque is a devout Catholic.

Family:
He is married to María Juliana Ruiz Sandoval, with whom he has three children: Luciana, Matías and Eloísa.

English and Korean articles on Colombia by The Korea Post media:
http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7122
http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7404
http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7405
http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7392
http://www.koreapost.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=37331

Lee Young-woong  edt@koeapost.com

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