Ambassador of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Park Chong-suk has said that his country’s relations with Nepal have been getting strengthened for years despite various challenges such as COVID-19.
“With strong bonds and spirit of collaboration between Korea and Nepal, we have seen the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to strengthen solidarity,” said envoy Park while address a reception hosted to mark the RoK’s National Day in the capital this evening.
Ambassador Park said that his government was actively supporting Nepal's response to the pandemic as it has provided PCR diagnostic kits, masks, and oxygen generators to support Nepal since the early stage.
“In this period, the Nepal-Korea Friendship Hospital, which was established with the support of the Korean government, was designated for COVID-19 patients. I would like to take this opportunity to express sincere appreciation to all the healthcare professionals in Nepal for their tireless efforts and dedication,” he said.
Talking about the growing popularity of the K-Pop culture as an integral part of Korean national identity, he said that the songs are widely loved. “And award-winning movies and TV series are becoming more accessible worldwide, including in Nepal.”
He further said that within two years of his stay in Nepal, he easily felt that modern and traditional cultures such as K-Pop, Korean TV Series and movies, and Taekwondo were gaining popularity among Nepali people. “Our embassy successfully held a series of cultural events such as Korean Ambassador Open Taekwondo Championship, K-pop World Festival in Nepal, and Korean Film Festival,” he said. According to him, the Korean Embassy would continue making efforts to promote cultural exchanges between peoples of our two countries. He hoped that more Korean tourists would visit Nepal in the days ahead as both countries have opened their borders.
“The dispatch of KOICA volunteers has resumed this year. And the number of Nepali students going to Korea is also increasing from this year,” he said.
Speaking about the importance of Nepali migrant workers, he said that had been contributing not only to meeting the labour demand in Korea but also Nepal's economic development. They are now becoming a cultural bridge between the two countries.
“Based on mutual trust, the two countries agreed to resume the dispatch of workers this year, and more than 12,000 Nepali workers are expected to enter Korea by the end of this year. This is the largest among the 16 countries that are involved in the Employment Permit System with Korea,” he said.
He said that the RoK is preparing to host the Busan World Expo 2030. Busan is is the second largest city in Korea, located on the south-east on the Korean Peninsula. The world’s second largest transshipment hub is also a famous tourist spot for its heavenly beaches, fresh seafood and diverse cultural traits.
Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun graced the ceremony as the chief guest. Politicians, Nepali and foreign diplomats and other dignitaries also attended the event.
A Korean cultural event was also organised on the occasion.