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German Minister in Seoul for Trade Mission
German Envoy Hosts Reception at His Residence
By Millicent Omollo
Staff Writer
German Ambassador to South Korea Hans-Ulrich Seidt (right) poses with Mr. Matthias Machnig (right), minister of economy, labor and technology of the German Free State of Thuringia. In the middle is Ms. Marita Seidt, spouse of the German envoy.

German Ambassador to South Korea Hans-Ulrich Seidt hosted a reception at his residence in the Seoul Seongbuk-dong area on Nov. 10, 2011 for Mr. Matthias Machnig, minister of economy, labor and technology of the German Free State of Thuringia and his delegation.

Some 70 local Koreans and Germans were invited to the dinner reception.

A lengthy speech was made by the visiting German minister following a welcome speech by the German envoy.

Among the notable guests were Lee Ki-Su, sentencing commission chairperson of the Supreme Court of Korea. Dr. Lee served as president of the Korea University.

Other guests included Dr. Paik Nam-Sun, director of Ehwa Womans University Cancer Center for Women;
Prof. Shin Gyong-Gu, dean of international affairs at Chonnam National University; and Park Sun-Hwa, deputy director of the Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mr. Matthias Machnig, minister of economy, labor and technology of the German Free State of Thuringia

In his speech, Machnig stated his desire to heighten and strengthen the bond between Thuringia and South Korea, explaining,"I was not born in the East but I became a believer of the East."

The minister also expressed surprise that most Koreans were more knowledgeable about Thuringia than West Germans were about South Korea.

He expressed optimism regarding Korea and Germany's future relationship. He was accompanied by around 20 entrepreneurs and potential investors in South Korea.

Park gave a speech in near fluent German, an awe for many, and offered encouragement to the German entrepreneurs, saying that Korea was already warm to the prospect of German investors.

The evening's proceedings were twice punctuated by the flute, piano and violin music of Beethoven, performed by professors from the Weimar School of Music at Kangnam University of Seoul.

The German ambassador noted that the existence of a German school of music in Korea showed that there was a chance for an even brighter future between the two countries.

The ambassador then invited his guests to a buffet dinner.

Dr. Paik Nam-Sun (center), the director at Ehwa Womans University Cancer Center for Women, poses with German Ambassador Hans-Ulrich Seidt (left), and with Mr. Guenter Reinke, CEO of Boehringer-Ingelheim Korea.

Dr. Paik Nam-Sun, the director at Ehwa Womans University Cancer Center for Women, believed there is more to be cultivated between German and South Korea in the medical field.

"Germany in terms of medical infrastructure is a few steps ahead," Dr. Paik said. "But with increased relations between our two countries, we both have a lot to gain and learn from each other."

Germany and South Korea established diplomatic relations in 1955. As of 2009, there were 31,248 Koreans living in Germany, making them the second largest Korean diaspora in Europe and the 14th largest in the world.

As of December 2010, South Korea's investment in Germany was 3,660 million US dollars, while Germany's investment in South Korea amounted to 9,240 million US dollars.

For details or inquiries please contact the German Embassy in Seoul at 748-4114 or leave Mr. Phil-Young Doe, press officer, an email at

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Millicent Omollo serves as Staff Writer for The Seoul Times. The Kenyan writer is conducting her study at ChungAng University in Seoul as an exchange student. She was majoring in Physical and Health Education at Kenyatta University in Kenya. She is interested in learning Korean language and culture. She can be contacted at






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