A fresh New Year is upon us again and I wish all who love the Korea Foundation at home and abroad joy and happiness.
The year 2018 was perhaps more meaningful to the KF than any other year. In July, the KF moved its head office to Seogwipo on Jeju Island, celebrating its rebirth as an organization that embraces the whole of Korea by connecting its new headquarters with the KF Global Center in Seoul and the ASEAN Culture House in Busan. It is not easy yet for us to carry out public diplomacy activities from our new location, but we expect we will do much better in the New Year.
Last year was also meaningful in that we solidified the basis to enhance global understanding of Korea and successfully implemented a variety of projects and exchange activities to that end. We published the 2018 Overseas Korean Studies White Paper that contains comprehensive information and statistics about the status of Korean Studies abroad. We also successfully built an online database that will help expedite support for projects that best suit the different needs of different regions.
In answer to the government’s New Southern Policy, we hosted a number of events in India, including the non-verbal Nanta performance that toured five cities, special lectures on Korean Studies, and forums for next-generation policy experts, invited distinguished guests representing socio-cultural circles, and facilitated personnel and cultural exchanges through the Korea-India Dialogue.
As the only government-designated foundation promoting public diplomacy, we also organized the First Public Diplomacy Week where citizens learned about and practiced public diplomacy through various activities. In addition, the newly launched Public Diplomacy Academy strived to enhance people’s participation in public diplomacy by providing customized educational programs.
The New Year will see the KF work more actively in and outside the country on top of its achievements over the last year.
Above all, the KF will positively supplement the government’s diplomatic endeavors to attain lasting peace on the Korean peninsula by conducting projects that respond to the disparate calls of the United States, China, Japan, and Russia.
Through the ASEAN Culture House and the Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum Secretariat, the KF will closely cooperate with countries in those regions, thus contributing to the government’s New Southern and New Northern Policy. In 2019, ASEAN and Korea will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, and a special ASEAN-Korea summit meeting will be held. The KF is working on diverse events to commemorate this memorable occasion and will open an office in Jakarta, Indonesia, to expand its activities in Southeast Asia. With the addition of the Jakarta office, the KF will have eight offices abroad.
At home, the KF will invigorate its role as an institution promoting public diplomacy. The KF will make every effort to enhance people’s awareness and potential for public diplomacy by further fostering participatory projects such as the Public Diplomacy Week, the Public Diplomacy Academy, and the Global Challenger program aimed at training next-generation global leaders.
In the meantime, the KF will seek ways of mutual growth with Jeju by employing local talents and exploring joint projects. As a public organization, the KF will take human rights into account in its management, so it can align with and strengthen good social values.
As we continue to grow into a mature foundation by ensuring internal stability and external expansion, we hope each and every one of you will come and join us in our journey.
The Korea Foundation