1. Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam visited Kyrgyzstan on September 26 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Republic of Korea-Kyrgyzstan diplomatic relations and the 80th anniversary of the settlement of ethnic Koreans in Central Asian countries in 2017. During the visit, the Vice Minister paid a courtesy call on First Vice Prime Minister Abdygulov and held a bilateral meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Kemelova.
2. Vice Minister Lim, hailing the remarkable progress in the ROK-Kyrgyzstan relations in political and social affairs, economy, culture, and various other sectors since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, stressed that the ROK government will seek to enhance its ties with Kyrgyzstan and the other Central Asian countries pursuant to its new northern policy.
° The Vice Minister extended appreciation to the Kyrgyz government for its all-out support for the ROK government’s policy toward North Korea; suggested that the Kyrgyz government, in tight solidarity with the ROK government, pressure the North to return to dialogue; and asked Kyrgyzstan to take an active part in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
3. First Vice Prime Minister Abdygulov expressed gratitude to Vice Minister Lim for visiting Kyrgyzstan to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations; noted with appreciation that the ROK’s assistance in development cooperation, including through the electoral capacity-building project, has contributed greatly to the Kyrgyz efforts to achieve democratization and socio-economic development; and voiced hope for more robust ROK-Kyrgyzstan cooperation on the e-government system, including on the Kyrgyz project to digitalize public administration.
° Deputy Foreign Minister Kemelova expressed hope that the ROK and Kyrgyzstan will work more closely on both the bilateral level, including on high-level exchanges, trade and economy, and cultural, educational and people-to-people exchanges; and a broader level, such as in the ROK-Central Asia cooperation and on the international stage.
4. Later in the day, Vice Minister Lim hosted a reception at the Kyrgyz National Philharmonic Hall to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ROK-Kyrgyzstan diplomatic relations. At the event that brought together major figures of various sectors, including Kyrgyz government officials, ethnic Koreans and leaders of the local Korean community, the Vice Minister extended appreciation to ethnic Koreans and other local Korean residents for serving as a bridge between the two countries and contributing to efforts to promote bilateral friendship and cooperation.
※ On the heels of the reception came a cultural performance in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the ROK and the Central Asian countries. It showcased various genres of past and contemporary Korean cultural arts, including traditional dances, Samulnori (a traditional Korean percussion quartet), b-boying, fusion Gukak (traditional Korean music) and percussion music. It served as an opportunity to offer Kyrgyz people a taste of Korea’s rich cultural arts.
5. Vice Minister Lim’s visit to Kyrgyzstan, the first by a Vice Minister or a higher-level official of the ROK Foreign Ministry since the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic ties in 1992, is expected to help promote high-level exchanges and friendship with Kyrgyzstan and the other Central Asian countries, the ROK’s partners in implementing its new northern policy.
* unofficial translation