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Germany and Korea are connected by extraordinarily strong ties at all levels

기사승인 2017.11.09  11:00:25

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- Amb. Stephan Auer of Germany in Seoul stresses:

Ambassador Stephan Auer said, “The Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Korea are connected by extraordinarily strong ties at all levels and this became even more evident this July when President Moon Jae-In visited Germany.” Ambassador Auer made the statement at his speech at a reception he hosted at the Grand Hyatt Seoul on Sept. 28, 2017 on the occasion of the Day of German Unity. (See excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Auer toward the end of this report.)
An estimated total of 1,000 guests attended the reception from all walks of life, including the Korean government leaders and foreign dignitaries such as the ambassadors and their spouses. Among them were Deputy Minister Cho Hyun of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CEO Juergen Friedrich from German Trade & Investment Office, CEO Dr. Juergen Friedrich from Germany Trade & Investment Office, Korean Soccer Champion Cha Bum-Geun, and Chairperson Barbara Zollmann of the German Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Korea.
The Day of German Unity commemorates the anniversary of German reunification in 1990 when the goal of a united Germany that originated in the middle of the 19th century was fulfilled again.

German Ambassador Stephan Auer and Deputy Minister Cho Hyun of Foreign Affairs (left and right) are offering a congratulatory toast to each other on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the German Unity.

In response to the speech of Ambassador Auer, Deputy Minister Cho Hyun of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “Unlike any other country, Germany understands the meaning of national division and the sorrows of war that Korea has suffered and still is suffering. Immediately after the end of the Korean war, Germany offered medical aid to 250,000 Koreans.” (See excerpts from the speech of Deputy Minister Cho at the end of this report.)

German Ambassador Stephan Auer and Deputy Minister Cho Hyun of Foreign Affairs (left and right) are offering a congratulatory toast to each other on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the German Unity.

Excerpts from Ambassador Auer:
The Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Korea are connected by extraordinarily strong ties at all levels. This became even more evident this July when President Moon Jae-In visited Germany. Germany was the second destination that President Moon paid an official visit to.
We share mutual values and interests and, in certain ways, even history. I am obviously thinking of our shared experience of a divided country. Today, we are meeting here on occasion of Germany’s overcoming of its division into two countries. But besides that, there are also concrete human links between our people: Just yesterday I had the pleasure to host a reception for nurses and miners who spent parts of their lives in Germany. These people have crossed borders at times when such steps could not be taken for granted. They became ambassadors between our countries and a living bond that connects us to this day. It is these contacts between Koreans and Germans that continue to contribute strongly to our outstandingly close relations!

CEO Dr. Juergen Friedrich of the German Trade & Investment organization is presenting a congratulatory speech.

Our cooperation is equally successful in the economic sector. The Republic of Korea and Germany are important trade partners to each other. At the same time, we are advocating hand in hand for a multilateral world as well as for free trade. One of the examples for this mutual commitment is the G20, which Germany is chairing this year.
Please allow me to add a comment on the recent Bundestag elections. Although it is not yet clear which coalition will govern Germany in the next legislative period, I am deeply convinced that the new federal government will guarantee foreign policy continuity. Last Sunday’s results are very clear in that regard.

President Yang Dong-yang of the Association of Korean Nurses (left) presents a gift to German Ambassador Stephan Auer at a embassy in Seoul on Sept. 27, 2017.

In spite of the many co-operations that already exist, there still is potential for an even closer German-Korean collaboration in the future. We can learn from each other in various fields, such as industry 4.0 and renewable energies. We are thankful for the Korean interest in our experiences in those fields and are looking forward to joint projects.
Of course, we are also facing shared challenges: The conflict with North Korea is very unsettling for us too. We are standing shoulder to shoulder with you. And we wish all of you, from the bottom of our hearts, that you too will be able to celebrate a day of Korean Unity in peace and freedom soon!

German Defense Military Band, Cambo, presents jazz music.

I would like to conclude by stating that the unified Europe has contributed immensely to Germany’s wealth and freedom. The strong position we assume in today’s world has been made possible by a strong EU. Europe is our past, our present and our future. Still, closer European integration and success were only to be reached by hard work and commitment. Thus, I am delighted to see that after a few difficulties, the EU has found its way back on track. Important debates about the EU’s future have already been initiated. If we learn from past crises, we will succeed in fostering Europe and deepening European integration. Europe has to be lived, which also includes celebrating it symbolically. That is why we will be listening to the European Anthem after the speeches.

Students from German School Seoul International are a Nanta performance.

Excerpts from the speech of Deputy Minister Cho:
Immediately after the end of the Korean war, Germany offered medical aid to 250,000 Koreans. Moreover, Germany has also proven itself very helpful during our time of industrialization and democratization. In the 1960s and 1970s, around 18,000 miners and nurses came to Germany. They constitute the fundament of our countries’ economic co-operation.
Today, Germany is Korea’s largest European trade partner and the third biggest investor in Korea.

Korean and international guests attending the Germany Unity Day reception hosted at the Grand Hyatt Seoul by the Embassy of Germany in Seoul. (Photo: Embassy of Germany in Seoul)

The latest event was the federal election last Sunday, in which Mrs. Merkel and her party obtained the most electoral votes for the fourth time in a low. President Moon has already congratulated her via telegram. Last May, our new government was formed following the election of Moon Jae-In as President of the Republic of Korea. For the first time in history, President Moon has sent a special envoy to Germany-right after his inauguration. On invitation of the Federal Chancellor, President Moon paid an official visit to Germany just two months after his inauguration, also taking part in the G20 summit.

Remaining part of Berlin Wall with artists painting in Berlin city at East Side Gallery.

Moreover, other close co-operations in various fields were agreed upon. These include industry 4.0, the support of SMEs, phasing out of nuclear energy and aiming for renewable energies whilst securing jobs and growth.
Ever since its unification 27 years ago, Germany’s global reputation stands for unity and freedom. It is a strong contrast to the Korean peninsula’s reality, where North Korean provocations such as nuclear missile tests prevail. In his Berlin speech, that he proclaimed during his visit to Germany in July, President Moon expresses a new vision of freedom for the Korean peninsula. It also shows that Korea aims to tread the same path to reunification unshaken, just as Germany did in the past. As president Moon announced in his Berlin speech, the Republic of Korea will advocate for the international community to support and provide aid to North Korea as soon as it stops carrying out provocations and shows its will to follow through on denuclearization. The republic of Korea will patiently and persistently pursue our policies in order to achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula. “I really hope that the Republic of Korea’s and the international community’s efforts of reaching peace and security on the Korean peninsula will achieve their goals soon. Hopefully us Koreans will soon be able to celebrate the day of Korean unity to which we will invite friends from Germany and all around the world.

People enjoy a performance during the celebration of German Unity Day near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the capital of Germany, on Oct. 3, 2017.

Kim Sua edt@koreapost.com

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