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Mexico takes steps similar to those of Korea to upgrade standard of livingAmb.Figueroa states at the Army Club, R.O.K. Ministry of National Defense in seoul

Ambassador Bruno Figueroa Fischer of Mexico in Seoul said, “In order to increase the standard of living of Mexicans, President Lopez Obrador is moving towards deeper social policies, also resembling those taken by the Korean Head of State since May 2017.” Ambassador Figueroa Fischer made the statement at a reception he and his defense attaches hosted commemorate the Day of the Mexican Army and Air Force on Feb. 19, 2019 in the Army Club of the Korean Ministry of National Defense.

Ambassador Figueroa of Mexico delivers a welcome speech at a reception hosted in celebration of the ‘2019 Day of the Mexican Army, Air Force and National Flag’ at the R.O.K. Army Club in Seoul.

The party was attended by Korean and international guests, as well as the ambassadors and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps with their spouses.

Among the guests in attendance were General Rober. Abrams of United Nations Command Korea and Rear Admiral Director Kim Hyun Il of Foreign Intelligence, KDIA and Ambassadors Antoine Azzam of Lebanon, Archbishop Alfred Xuereb of Holy See, Daul Matute-Mejia of Peru, Mihai Ciompec of Romania.

From the Korean society came many distinguished guests from all walks of life, including the media, whence came Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media with his reportorial team from the five media outlets of his company. Excerpts from the speeches of the Ambassador and the Defense Attache follow:

Ambassador Bruno Figueroa of Mexico (2nd from left) stands with Defense Military Air Attaches at attention with other defense personnel of Mexico before the National Flag of Mexico and the Republic of Korea.

Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Bruno Figueroa of Mexico:

Brigadier General, Fernando Colchado Gomez, General Rober. Abrams, United Nations Command Korea, Rear Admiral Kim Hyun Il, Director, Foreign Intelligence, KDIA, Distinguished representatives of the Korean Armed forces and friendly countries, Ladies and gentlemen:

It is indeed a very special honor to be here celebrating the Mexican Army Day, as we do annually.

We are delighted to have you here, as your presence highlights the enduring partnership and friendliness with all countries.

This is a special occasion to reiterate our deepest appreciation to those military service men and women devoted to defending our territorial integrity, the sovereign and independence of our nation.

Ambassador Figueroa (6th from right, front row) and Defense Attaches pose with other military Attaches.

On February 10th, during the Mexican Air Force Day, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Supreme Commander of the Armed forces, said that enlisted men and women are people in uniform. The loyalty of the Mexican Army towards its people and the country is its more extraordinary characteristic. The President of Mexico counts on that loyalty to pursue his agenda.

We shall always remember that their activities are essential in the shaping of the rule of law, in rescuing civilians after natural disasters and in the permanent quest for peace and security, which are the basis for the social and economic development of our country.

Likewise, actions in respect of national security and public security are increasingly grounded in international cooperation.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office less than a hundred days ago, on December 1st. I avail of this space to highlight his vision and fundamental guidelines, set out during his inauguration speech at the Mexican Congress. Individuals, particular those in situation of major vulnerability and marginalization, shall be at the center of government policies, aiming to ensure their welfare and security. This is fully in line with President Moon Jae-in’s vision.

Ambassador Figueroa (6th from left, front row) and Defense Attaches pose with other embassy members and guests.

In order to increase the standard of living of Mexicans, President Lopez Obrador is moving towards deeper social policies, also resembling those taken by the Korean Head of State since May 2017: increased minimum wage, more welfare transfers, guaranteed prices in agricultural commodeties such as corn and beans, and an expanded public works and infrastructure projects.

Upgraded infrastructure will be devoted towards returning to self-sufficiency in basic sectors of the economy, such as gasoline production. Self-sufficiency in foodstuffs is also a goal. It had been almost reached in beans and grains during the decade of the eighties, only to be lost due to lack of investment in agriculture.

A new railway of one thousand five hundred kilometers in the Yucatan Peninsula will attract more tourists to one of the most beautiful regions of the country. From a geographic perspective, President Lopez Obrador’s goal is to build curtains of development from South to North, to reduce the existing 0wealth gap between the industrialized North, linked to world economy, and the marginalized South, with not enough sources of wealth or jobs.

Fighting insecurity and corruption is another priority of the current government. Peace and an efficient and honest government are required to invest more resources in social welfare.

Growth is driven by huge amount of public and private investment. The government guarantees private economy activity as a foundation of growth and will maintain foreign investment attraction policies. Korea continues to be a very important partner of Mexico, given its contribution to trade and high scale investments in key manufacturing sectors.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me refer now to the military cooperation between our countries, equally important.

Defense Military Air Attaches pose with guests and Mexican dancers wearing traditional Mexican costumes at a reception.

Mexico has maintained Military, Air Force and Navy Attachés in the Republic of Korea all along the history of diplomatic relations. Military cooperation has always proved fruitful and it is growing. Mexican servicemen are trained in the Peace Keeping Joint Operation Center in Korea. High performance athletes, also military, are also trained here in Korea, among many other activities.

In March 2018, a new Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation and Exchange of Information was signed between the Ministry of Defense and the Korean Intelligence Defense Agency. Also, Mexico actively participated in the Defense Dialogues of Seoul last September. Those exchanges are evidence of the potential of military cooperation.

Permit me to say at this point that Mexico has followed with true interest the evolution of the security situation in the Korean Peninsula, and appreciates the joint efforts in the framework of the inter-Korean dialogue. The Mexican people and its Army make their vows for these dialogues to turn into a clear pathway towards a solid and enduring peace in the region. 2019 could be a historical and decisive year for the Korean people, and this is the sincerest desire of all of us.

General, Ladies and Gentlemen:

As Mexican Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, I propose a toast for the loyalty of those serving in the Army and the Air Force, and also for the friendship between the military forces of Mexico and Korea.

Ambassadors and Defense Attaches and other military Attaches stand at a reception of the 2019 Day of the Mexican Army and Air Force.

Excerpts from the speech of Brigadier General Hector Francisco Moran Gonzalez of Mexico:

Your excellency Ambassador Bruno Figueroa, Your excellencies ambassadors of friendly countries that honor us with their presence, General Robert B. Abrams Command UNC, CFC, USFK, Lieutenant – General CAF Deputy of the United Nations, RADM Kim, Hyun II, Director of Foreign Intelligence KDIA, Group of Military, Air and Navy attaches in Korea, Press and Media representatives, Ladies and gentlemen.

It is an honor to welcome all of you to this official ceremony, in order to commemorate more than one hundred years of honor and institutional loyalty of the Mexican Army and Air Force.

Institution, that contributed to the conformation of Mexico as independent, free and sovereign country.

Ambassador Figueroa of Mexico (3rd from right) poses with guests. From left to right: Feature Editor Sion Khan, Defense Military Air Attache, Vice chairman Choe Nam-suk of The Korea Post media, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media, Photo Artist Beom Jin-seok, Business Editor Kim Tae-moon of The Korea Post media.

Armed forces that have evolved during the period of time, through its participation in historical events, to achieve the independence of Mexico, the defense of our territory and the establishment of democratic institutions, after a revolution, this last armed struggled, gave an origin to the current Mexican army, In the year of 1913, and to The Mexican Air Force in the year of 1915.

In that moment of social transformation, Mexico opened the doors to the collaboration and humanitarian did with Korea, receiving in 1905 the first Korean migrants, peasants who not only working hard, but also were given to the task of supporting from Mexico the independence movement started in Korea, in 1919, with the heroic participation of Chang Seok-hwan and Korean moral leader Ahn Chang-ho.

Our brotherhood, deepened during the Korean war in 1950-1953; and our diplomatic, commercial, cultural and military relations have increased and remained solid, up to this day.

In terms of international aspect, The Mexican Army and Air Force, have strengthened their military relations, with different countries friends, forming part of various mechanisms of cooperation, programs of defense, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism; participating In the United Nations Organization, the organization of American States, And in the Inter-American Defense Board.

Ambassador Figueroa of Mexico (center) poses with Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik (left) of The Korea Post media and Photo Artist Beom Jin-seok

Mexico values and supports operations to maintain peace and stability in the world, adding efforts at a crucial times for humanity, as the Second World War, with participation of the Mexican Air Force, through the "Historico Air Squadron 201”.

In the same way, The Army has participated with military personnel in observation and research missions for peacekeeping in the Balkans Of 1947-1950, and also in India and Pakistan 1949.

At present, extant military personnel deployed in peace operations in western Sahara, Central African Republic, Colombia, as well as in the UN mission in Mali.

Emergencies provoked by natural disasters, there are no borders, In this sense the government of Mexico has turned instructions to Secretariat of National Defense and Secretariat of Navy of Mexico, to provide international humanitarian aids , with all the human and material resources that the armed forces have, having participated in multiple occasions in different brother countries.

In the same way "We recognize our friends all over the world, aid and solidarity, who have provided to Mexico, after the effects that our country has suffered by natural phenomena such as earthquakes or hurricanes occurred in recent years.

Friendly countries, that today represented by all of you, I would like to mention our gratitude to your valuable support.

Germany, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, Spain, United States of America, Israel, Italy, Japan, Panama, Peru, Republic of Korea, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and Venezuela.

At last, Mexico and its Armed Forces, ratify our promise with peacekeeping, international security and the International humanitarian aid.

Thank you very much.

Shin Jin-seon  edt@koreapost.com

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