Dr. Song Jong-hwan is the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea. He delivered this speech at Pakistan-Korea Friendship Society meeting held on – 18th January 2016. Here is the full text of the speech.
His Excellency, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker of the National Assembly, Former Senator Akram Zaki, Mr. Qaiser Ahmad Sheikh, Convener of the Pakistan-Korea Parliamentary Friendship Group, Mr. Waheed-ul-Hasan, Special Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Senator Mohammad Javed Abassi, Senator Abdul Qayyum Mr. Iftikhar Ahmad Cheema, Member National Assembly, Mr. Sajjad Afzal Cheema, President Pakistan-Korea Friendship Society, Distinguished members, Mr. Oh Sung Hoon, Chairman of Korean Society in Pakistan, Representatives of Korean companies and Dear Colleagues,
As-Salaam-o-Alaikum and Good Evening,
I would like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year. I would like to thank the Speaker of the National Assembly for coming here to grace us. I would like to thank Mr. Sajjad Cheema for arranging today function. More importantly, I would like to thank him, and the distinguished members of the Pakistan-Korea Friendship Society, for all your support over more than 3 decades, which has greatly strengthened the friendship between our two countries.
I appreciate Mr. Cheema for raising the issue of North Korean nuclear test on 6th January, 2016. On the same day the Government of the Republic of Korea strongly condemned the North Korean Hydrogen Bomb test and vowed to take all necessary measures to penalize it.
On 8th January, the Government of Pakistan expressed its “deep concern” over the nuclear test by North Korea and issued the statement that “all countries should comply with their respective international obligations. We oppose any action which is detrimental to peace and stability in the region”.
North Korea’s nuclear program poses a real danger to not only the East Asian region, but to the world as well. For decades, North Korea has said that it does not have the will or the capacity to pursue a nuclear program. While concealing its nuclear program, North Korea made consecutive agreements with the concerned parties not to pursue nuclear weapons.
On 12th December, 1985, North Korea acceded to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) but did not complete a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
On 20th January, 1992, North Korea signed the Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula with the Republic of Korea. Under the declaration, both sides agreed not to “test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons”.
On 21st October, 1994, North Korea signed the Agreed Framework with the United States in which Pyongyang committed to freezing its illicit plutonium weapons program in exchange for aid.
On 19th September, 2005, in the Joint Statement of the 6 Party Talks, North Korea again committed “to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA safeguards”.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we should live peacefully with each other. We should not threaten others. And, there is a famous Latin saying “Pacta Sunt Servanda” which means that “Agreements must be kept”. This forms the basis of international law and international relations. All countries should keep their word and honor their commitments. Otherwise it is not possible to maintain peace and order in the world. I am sure you understand the implications of what I said.
Distinguished guests, since coming to Pakistan I have been fortunate to have been part of many significant developments that greatly strengthened the friendship between our countries:
The Korean Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Korean National Assembly visited Pakistan in 2014 for the first time in history.
On 27th September, 2015, the Korean President, Her Excellency Park Geun-hye and His Excellency the Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif had a summit meeting on the sidelines of the 70th UNGA Session in New York. The two leaders discussed avenues of enhancing bilateral and multilateral ties.
The 2015-2017 Economic Development Cooperation Fund framework agreement amounting to five hundred million dollars was signed on 2nd October, 2015, in Islamabad. Under the Framework Arrangement, various projects in Road Infrastructure, Information Technology, Health and Agriculture will be completed.
In November 2015 we managed to successfully hold the 9th Bilateral Policy Consultations.
October 2015 was also celebrated as ‘Korea Month’ by the Embassy to commemorate the National Foundation Day of the Republic of Korea. More than 20 functions were held to mark Korea Month.
In July 2015, the Minister of Commerce, Khurram Dastgir Khan visited Korea. He is playing an instrumental role to speed up the finalization of the Pak-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Just in the past month, for the first time, a famous Korea drama has started airing on PTV Home every Monday to Friday from 6:45 to 7:20 pm, with the localized name “Nageen”. There is a repeat telecast at 2:30 pm every day.
From the end of World War II till now about 140 countries have gained independence. Of all these countries, Korea was the first to change from an aid recipient country to a donor country in 2010. Korea used to be a very poor country. Korean per capita income in 1961 was $91, which was less than the average per capita income of the Least Developed Countries. Korean per capita income is more than twenty-eight thousand dollars as of 2014! Korea’s trade volume has been more than one trillion dollars since 2011. This is called the ‘Miracle of Han River’.
My dream is for Pakistan to achieve the ‘Miracle of the Indus River’, similar to Korea’s ‘Miracle of the Han River’. I am doing my best to ensure that this dream comes true with cooperation between the Republic of Korea and Pakistan.
And based on our achievements in the past two years, I promise that I will continue my best efforts to further enhance Pak-Korea friendship. I could not have achieved anything without your support. I need your continued support.
Finally, we have some of the representative of Korean companies with us today. I would like to appreciate them for coming to Pakistan to trade and invest.
Thank you. Shukriya
Dr. Song Jong-hwan is Ambassador of the Republic of Korea.
He delivered this speech at Pakistan-Korea Friendship Society
meeting held on – 18th January 2016