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Congratulatory Remarks by Mr. Yoon Soongu, Deputy Minister for Political Affairs at the Reception on the Occasion of the 62nd National Day of Malaysia
Congratulatory Remarks by Mr. Yoon Soongu,
Your Excellency Dato’ Mohd ASHIRI Bin Muda,
I am deeply honored to attend today’s reception to celebrate the 62nd National Day of Malaysia, hosted by Ambassador ASHRI(아쉬리). On behalf of the people and the government of the Republic of Korea, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations and good wishes to the people and the government of Malaysia.
This year is an unprecedented special year in the friendship of our two countries.
Early this year in March, President Moon Jae-in made a State Visit to Malaysia at the invitation of his Majesty Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah. It was the first State Visit made by a Korean president in nine years, which was made especially meaningful as President Moon was the first state guest of his Majesty since his enthronement in January. During the visit, President Moon and Prime Minister Mahathir agreed to bolster our cooperation into the future in a wide-range of areas, and to harmoniously pursue Korea’s New Southern Policy together with Malaysia’s Look East Policy.
Indeed, Malaysia’s Look East Policy has been a hallmark of the closeness of our two countries since Prime Minister Mahathir launched the policy in the early 1980s. It created a steady flow of people-to-people exchanges, which built the strong foundation on which our current friendship stands.
Merging together with Korea’s New Southern Policy, which places an unprecedented importance to ASEAN in our foreign policy, I believe that the friendship between our two countries will reach new heights.
In November, Korea will be hosting the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue relations. We are confident that Prime Minister Mahathir’s visit to Korea on the occasion of this summit will pave new milestones in the friendship between our two countries.
Already, our current bilateral trade volume stands at nearly US$ 20 billion and our people-to-people exchanges has reached the 1 million mark last year. Next year will mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic ties. Next year is also the ‘Visit Malaysia Year’, and I am confident that Malaysia, which is already a popular destination for Korean visitors, will see an even bigger crowd. I have also visited your beautiful country many times over the years, and am still mesmerized by the towering skyline, the bright lights, and the warmth of the people.
During my recent visit, I learned that our two countries share the same national flower ? the hibiscus. The national anthem of Korea that was played a few minutes ago has a verse that describes our land as splendid mountains, rivers and abundance of hibiscus flowers. The name of the flower in Korean, Moogoonghwa, means perpetual, or ever-lasting. As such, it has been an important symbol that unified the Korean people in our pursuit for independence from colonial rule in 1945. As we celebrate the National Day of Malaysia today, I would like to note that we share not only a national flower, but a similar history as well ? a success story ? a transformation from independence to a country of prosperity and innovation. Working together, I have no doubt that our two countries will continue our journey to even greater prosperity and innovation.
Allow me take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Ambassador ASHRI for his dedication to cementing the bonds between our two countries. He was appointed at the most demanding time in our bilateral relations, immediately before President Moon’s State Visit to Malaysia and will be at the helm during this year’s ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit and the 60th anniversary of Korea-Malaysia relations next year. With full support from our Foreign Ministry, I am confident that Ambassador ASHRI will make great and lasting strides in our relations.
Now, I would like to propose a toast ?
“His Excellency DATO MOHD ASHRI MUDA
May I invite you to join me in a toast for the good health and wellbeing of His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the success and prosperity of the Government and the People of Malaysia.”
(raises the glass)
“to His Majesty”