On January 14, 2013 the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Republic of Korea was celebrated via an exclusive media launch at the Embassy of Canada, kicking off a year-long program of events designed to highlight the close ties between our two nations. The Celebration 2013 launch event was hosted by Ambassador David Chatterson and featured our celebrity honorary ambassadors â Korean-Canadian K-pop artist G.Na, Canadian singer Shayne, actor Oh Zio and soccer star Lee Young-Pyo. Painter Kim Duk-Ki and cartoonist Rhie Won-Bok were also awarded certificates of appreciation for graciously acting as the Embassy’s artistic partners for Celebration 2013.
In honour of the anniversary, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has designated 2013 as the Year of Korea in Canada and Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik reciprocated by declaring 2013 as the Year of Canada in Korea during his visit to Ottawa on December 4. Emphasizing the importance of Canada-Korea relations, Prime Minister Kim said that the two countries will continue to strengthen constructive cooperation moving forward.
It is my pleasure and honour to celebrate 50 years of Canada-Korea diplomatic relations with such an exciting and diverse range of events, which will be held all year long. Ambassador David Chatterson was quoted. I look forward to seeing our two nations use this opportunity to take our relationship to the next level by strengthening cooperation across the board; in trade, education, energy, global security and international aid and development.
The year 2013 also marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice that ended the conflict in which 27,000 Canadian troops served and 516 lost their lives. Re-visit programs will bring Canadian veterans of the Korean War back to pay homage to their fallen comrades, and to see the vibrant democracy that would never have been, if not for their sacrifice.
Over the past 50 years Canada and Korea have enjoyed warm, friendly relations based on shared values, extensive people-to-people links and strong commercial ties. The growing mutual importance of our relationship is highlighted by the increased high-level contact between our governments. Our leaders have met numerous times in recent years, in Korea and at international meetings. 2012 saw a record number of ministerial visits from both sides, productive bilateral meetings and extensive cooperation on the world stage. Canada and Korea are moving towards concluding a free trade agreement, and have pledged closer cooperation on energy. 2013 holds promise for a bigger and better strategic partnership.
Source: Canadian Embassy in Korea