Friday, 5 May 2023, Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia: The Speaker of NRW State Legislature, André Kuper, received the Korean Ambassador Hong Kyun Kim for his inaugural visit to Düsseldorf, the state capital. Kim was accompanied by Consul General Seungjae Huh and Dr. Jo Myunghee, Member of the Korean National Assembly. This year, the Republic of Korea and the Federal Republic of Germany are celebrating the 140th anniversary of their friendship.
The Republic of Korea is one of North Rhine-Westphalia’s most important partners in Asia. North Rhine-Westphalia is the only state to have maintained a representative office in Seoul since 1988. Around 60 South Korean companies are based in the Rhine and Ruhr regions. In addition, around 10,000 people from South Korea live in North Rhine-Westphalia. Numerous North Rhine-Westphalian companies have locations in South Korea. And in 1963, the Federal Republic and Korea concluded a recruitment agreement for guest workers for, among other things, the coal industry in North Rhine-Westphalia.
André Kuper said as per statement linked below in its native German version: “I welcome Ambassador Hong Kyun Kim not only as a representative of an important trading partner, but also as a supporter in the fight for democracy, freedom and human rights. We always keep an eye on the security situation on the Korean peninsula. Moreover, we share with the Republic of Korea the experience of a divided country. Many Korean families live in North Rhine-Westphalia. As the state parliament, we wish that many young people from our countries meet in exchange programmes and deepen relations with each other”.
Hong Kyun Kim has been ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Berlin since 24 October 2022. The 62-year-old has already worked in the diplomatic service since 1984 in various positions. He was also special envoy for peace and security issues on the Korean peninsula.
In the exchange with the Speaker of the State Legislature, André Kuper, the focus was not only on the relations between the two countries, but also on the topics of sustainability, climate protection and peace.
After signing the guestbook, the delegation from South Korea exchanged views with members of the Committee for Europe and International Affairs. One topic of discussion was the 60th anniversary of the Recruitment Agreement.pa and International Affairs.
For further information
State Legislature of North Rhine-Westphalia: https://www.landtag.nrw.de/home/aktuelles/meldungen-und-berichte/meldungen-berichte-und-informati/meldungen-und-berichte/2023/05/0505botschafterkorea.ht
Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Germany: https://overseas.mofa.go.kr/de-de/index.do