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Day of Germany Unity Marked in Seoul
Amb. Hans-Ulrich Seidt Stresses on Long, Strong Ties
German Ambassador to Seoul Hans-Ulrich Seidt (2nd from left) poses with Chairman Yun-Ik-Han of The Seoul Times, former President Lee Ki-Su of Korea University and his wife Mrs. Kim.

German Ambassador to Seoul Hans-Ulrich Seidt and his spouse Mrs. Marita Seidt hosted a reception at his residence in Seoul’s Seongbuk-dong on Oct. 6, 2011 on the occasion of its national day, the Day of German Unity. The German public holiday commemorates the anniversary of German reunification in 1990.

A number of both international and local guests nearly from all walks of life were invited to the dinner reception by the German envoy. They included scores of top foreign envoys serving in Seoul such as Argentine Ambassador Carlos Alberto Arganaraz and Uzbek Ambassador Vitali V. Fen, who serves as dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

Uzbek Ambassador Vitali V. Fen (center), dean of the Diplomatic Corps, poses with Chairman Yun Ik-Han (4th from right) of The Seoul Times, his wife Mrs. Lyudmila Fen (2nd from left), Guatemalan Ambassador Rafael A. Salazar (3rd from right), and with Minister Counsellor Ernesto Torres Pereyra (right) of Dominican Republic.

Among the local guests were lawmaker Kwon Young-Se of ruling Grand National Party (GNP), former President Lee Ki-Su of Korea University, and Chairman Yun Ik-Han of The Seoul Times.

The German envoy has been an active promoter of bilateral cooperation and exchanges between Germany and South Korea. He has been quite busy either hosting or attending a number of artistic academic or trade events.

He along with his wife Marita Seidt hosted wine tasting quite frequently at his residence in his efforts to promote German wine and beer.

Argentine Ambassador Carlos Alberto Arganaraz (center) poses with Chairman Yun-Ik-Han (left) of The Seoul Times, and with President Richard Lothholz of OSRAM Korea Co. at the residence of German Ambassador Hans-Ulrich Seidt.

The German ambassadorial couple also hosted a number of concerts at their residence inviting local or German musicians including World famous German cellist Jan Vogler who visited visit South Korean on April 18-24, 2011.

The German envoy did not forget to laud a local chef for his years of contribution to the events hosted by the German Embassy in Seoul. Executive Chef Park Hyo-Nam of Millenium Hilton Seoul received the Gold Medal of the Association from the German envoy on March 18, 2011 in the Seoul Millennium Hilton.

Dr. Seidt also met quite frequently with the local journalists inviting them either to the embassy or to his residence to brief them on the long and close bilateral ties between Germany and South Korea.

German Ambassador to Seoul Hans-Ulrich Seidt (2nd from right) poses with KGCCI Sec. Gen. Juergen Woehler (left) and his wife Mi-Kyoung Woehler (right), president of Asia-Circle.

At one press meeting he held at his embassy he made a lengthy explanation about the long mutual relations dating back to early 20th century.

He introduced a German diplomat Paul Georg von Möllendorff (1847-1901) who was hired as his court official in 1882 by King Gojong of the Jeoseon Dynasty which was about to be swallowed by the aggressive Imperial Japan.

As a linguist himself Möllendorff quickly mastered the Korean language and earned the trust of King Gojong. Later, he became Gojong's deputy foreign minister, adopted the Korean name Mok In-Dok (穆麟德), and played a very influential role in King Gojong's court until he was forced to resign under extreme pressure from China and Japan.

German Ambassador to Seoul Hans-Ulrich Seidt (4th from left) poses with Seoul Times Chairman Yun Ik-Han and Michelle Jung, director of The Seoul Times at his residence. To her right is KGCCI Sec. Gen. Juergen Woehler and his wife Mi-Kyoung Woehler, president of Asia-Circle. At right is Director David Oh of The Seoul Times.

The German envoy wrote to a local media that South Korea and Germany boasted of 128 years of bilateral ties.

It was in 1883 that the official diplomatic relations were established between Germany and Korea. On Nov. 26, 1883 an agreement was signed by the two nations on trade, friendship, and maritime navigation.

But, it was only after the Korean War (1950-53) that the two countries started developing close and deep relations, according the envoy.

He argued that Korea was one of the world’s poorest nations in 1950s but in the year 2008 it became world’s 13th largest economy. Behind Korea’s rapid economic development of 1960s and 1970s was the assistance from Germany.

German Ambassador to Seoul Hans-Ulrich Seidt in his office

In 2003 legislatures both nations adopted a resolution in commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the bilateral ties. It was on this occasion that the active diplomatic negotiations were made between the two nations.

In April 2005 President Roh Moo-Hyun made a state visit to Germany. And in February 2010 German President Horst Köhle visited South Korea.

In August 2008 President Norbert Lammert of Bundestag or legislature of Germany came to Seoul at the invitation of his Korean counterpart. In the same month of the following year South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo went to Germany.

In November 2010 German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Seoul to attend G20 summit. She met with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak for a brief summit.

The German envoy also made a comment on the close economic ties. He considered South Korea one of the most important economic partners to Germany.

To Germany South Korea is the third largest market in Asia. To South Korea Germany is the most important trade partner in Europe. The bilateral trade reached 20 billion US dollars in 2009.

German Ambassador to Seoul Hans-Ulrich Seidt and his spouse Mrs. Marita Seidt at their residence in Seoul's Seongbuk-dong

Germany’s investment in South Korea amount to 9 billion US dollars. In South Korea some 200 German companies are operating. Well over 80,000 employees are working for the German companies in South Korea.

On the cultural front the two nations are maintaining strong ties. Some 5,000 South Koreans are studying in Germany and many of them are offered some kinds of scholarships from DAAD and other German academic institutions.

Some 60 German scholars are teaching in South Korea now. Korean community in Germany is the largest Korean community in the entire Europe. Some 30,000 Koreans in Germany are mostly the ones who went to Germany as coal miners and nurses, according to the German envoy.

For details or inquiries contact the German Embassy in Seoul at 748-4114 or leave Mr. Phil-Young Doe, press officer, at pr-100@seou.auswaertiges-amt.de



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