By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Ambassador of Republic of Korea to Nigeria, Lee In-Tae, has said that his embassy has been taking up measures to enhance the cooperation of his country with Nigeria as a means of sustaining the existing healthy friendship between both nations.
Speaking at the 2019 Korean National Day cerebration in Abuja, the Ambassador said he has been trying to enhance Nigeria/Korean cooperation not only in political and economic areas but also in areas of education and culture.
According to him, the Korean Embassy in Nigeria has organized various cultural events, including K-Pop contests and Taekwondo competitions for youths of both countries, noting that at these events, he was so impressed by the passion and potentials of Nigerians.
He narrated the tough part to development which Korean people have passed through, saying that his country is currently trying to achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, calling on Nigeria to support the effort.
“For us to succeed, your strong support for our efforts is necessary. Since we have so much in common, I am confident that Korea and Nigeria will go hand in hand towards the path of peace and prosperity”, Lee In-Tae said.
Speaking further, he said due to the traditional ideal of the Korean people to build a nation that will benefit mankind, Koreans have strived to achieve this ideal by building friendly relations with other countries, including Nigeria.
“Out history has been full of difficulties. In the last century, we were victims of colonialism. Then we suffered from the Korean War. Afterwards, many died from hunger and poverty. Yet, we worked hard and grew strong. We became one of the largest economies in the world, and achieved stable democracy”, he narrated.
At this juncture, he emphasized that Nigeria and Korea having enjoyed 39 years of strong diplomatic ties, both countries have a lot more in common, including similar painful history, as both countries suffered from imperialism and civil war.
“Both Nigerians and Koreans are people of optimism and energy. We also share our love for music and dancing, and we both like spicy foods. These similarities have made us good friends”, he added.
Meanwhile, the event was attended by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, senators, ambassadors of other countries in Nigeria, members of the diplomatic corps, politicians and business people.
Highlight of the event was music rendition by students from the Institute of the Arts in Korea, as well as Nigerian artists who performed both Koreans and Nigerian musics. Also Korean native and inter-continental dishes were served at the dinner.