Korean ambassador Hong Jin-wook s end of the year meeting with Egyptian media figures
South Korean Ambassador to Egypt Hong Jin-Wook met with the Egyptian journalists and media figures in an end-of-year reception Tuesday at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza Hotel in Garden City
He expressed his appreciation for their contribution to the two country’s relations by promoting Korea’s friendly image and Korean culture to the Egyptian people.
Addressing the attendees in fluent Arabic through much of the speech, Ambassador Hong expressed his pleasure to be attending the gathering and thanked the attendees for supporting his efforts throughout the year.
“Egypt is such an attractive country with beautiful nature, splendid cultural heritage and hospitable and competent people. This makes me love Egypt dearly and feel as if I am the happiest ambassador in the world."
"Our two countries now have the best government-to-government cooperation of any time since the establishment of the Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership in 2016 when President El-Sisi paid an official visit to Korea.”
The ambassador affirmed that the leaders of both countries keep in close contact through official visits and phone calls, noting that Korea’s then-President Moon visited Egypt in January and current President Yoon Suk-Yeol spoke to El-Sisi by phone in October.
He also praised Egypt for successfully hosting the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November, which was attended by Korea’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and Environment Na Kyung-Won
Hong extolled cooperation between the two countries across the transportation, infrastructure, business and military sectors, pointing to the signing in February of an agreement to manufacture the K9 self-propelled howitzer in Egypt and the Pyramids Air Show in August that featured both countries’ air force aerobatics teams.
The ambassador also noted the importance of building relations between the peoples of both countries, saying that he has put more emphasis on public diplomacy to befriend the Egyptian people.
“Although Korea and Egypt are far away, I can say that our hearts are getting even closer this year.”
Concluding his speech, the ambassador turned the stage over to three Egyptian journalists – Al-Ahram’s senior diplomatic writer Mohamed Sabreen, head of Nile TV Taghreed Hussein and Daily News diplomatic editor Nehal Samir – who shared their experiences visiting Korea in recent years.
The three journalists expressed their admiration for Korean history, the most popular attractions of modern Korea in Seoul and Busan, the beauty of nature, the rapid economic development and the similarities between the Korean and Egyptian food.
Samir presented a slideshow of her visit to Korea that reflected the similarities between many historical and cultural places in Korea and Egypt such as the Blue House in Korea and late president Gamal Abdel-Nasser Museum, the Gugak Centre and the Cairo Opera House, the Korean Tower and the Cairo Tower, as well as Andong town and the Nubian village in Aswan.
During the ceremony, underlining Ambassador Hong’s commitment to public diplomacy, the Korean embassy played a short video showing the ambassador performing he popular Egyptian song 3Daqat (Three Beats) on saxophone. The song has also been covered by the Korean boy group B.I.G. and is quite well known to the Korean people.