- Embassy of South Korea hosted a reception at their premises on 1 November to commemorate the country’s National Foundation Day and Armed Forces Day.
- A large gathering of diplomats, businessmen, Korean nationals and friends of Korea attended the celebrations to mark the occasion.
Ambassador of South Korea H.E. Chung Byung-ha cut the ceremonial cake along with the chief guest, Kuwait’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of Asian Affairs, Ambassador Sameeh Johar Hayat.
In his address to the gathering Ambassador Byung-ha stated that the two nations shared the values of freedom, peace and prosperity, based on unwavering mutual trust and strong partnership. Rising from the ashes of war, Korea and Kuwait had successfully demonstrated the power of resilience and the strength of collective will for better life.
He noted that the establishment of their diplomatic relationship went back to 1979. But even before that a Korean company named Daerim Construction broke ground on its first project here in 1975, which followed the Korean trade representative office that had been set up here in 1972.
He revealed that Kuwait was the first country from which Korea imported crude oil in 1964. And that the next year would mark the 60th anniversary of their bilateral energy cooperation.
Ambassador Byung-ha went on to explain the chronology of their relationship,by noting that the economy preceded diplomacy, as oil sailed first, followed by construction workers. But ever since then, he noted that their two countries had been developing comprehensive and multi-dimensional relations which had already become strategic on the ground.
Elaborating, he said, their trade volume reached around US$13 billion in 2022, which meant Kuwait was the 6th largest exporter to Korea. Moreover, over 100 million barrels of oil flow to Korea every year, making Kuwait the 3rd largest oil supplier to Korea.
He also spoke about mutual support between the two countries in regional and global issues, and on increasing people to people contact, demonstrated by a rise in the number of Kuwaitis visiting Korea, and an increasing popularity of Korean dramas and films among people in Kuwait.
He further added that despite all the numbers, size, and volumes, he believed the overarching visions and underlying values they shared were of much more importance.
Ambassador Byung-ha revealed that Korea had been sharing their experiences of national development with Kuwaiti friends. He said that Korea has already been deeply involved in translating the Vision 2035 into reality through the construction of many symbolic and strategic infrastructures.
He disclosed that Korea hoped to become an essential partner of Kuwait beyond 2035, pointing out that to do this they must further deepen their mutual understanding, particularly among young people.
He noted that a Korean language center at the King Sejong Institute, would open at Kuwait University next week and that Kuwait had restarted the Arabic language training program for young Korean college students this year.
He hoped that these young students would become strong bridges to connect the future that must be sustainable. This, he said, was also why Korea was hosting the World Expo 2030 in Busan that aims to seek collective wisdom on solutions to the global sustainability crisis.
In his remarks to the media, Ambassador Hayat, stressed the significance of the deeply rooted and strategic ties between Kuwait and South Korea. He noted that further high-level meetings and visits are expected to strengthen their partnership.
In his remarks on the occasion, Kuwait’s Director of Joint Education at the Ministry of Defense, Brig Gen Faisal Dashti, highlighted the strong relationship between Kuwaiti Forces and the Korean Army, including joint exercises. He underscored the importance of military cooperation in the field of education as a cornerstone of their collaboration.
The reception provided guests with an opportunity to experience traditional Korean cuisine and culture, as well as interact with Koreans residing in Kuwait.