1. The Korean language was newly listed as a priority Asian language, along with Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Hindi, in the “Australia in the Asian Century” white paper released by the Australian government on August 7.
* In its “Australia in the Asian Century” white paper released last October, the Australian government included the ROK in the list of five major strategic cooperation countries in Asia (ROK, China, Japan, India and Indonesia). However, the government did not include the Korean language in the list of priority Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Indonesia and Hindi), which all students will be given an opportunity to learn.
2. Immediately after the “Australia in the Asian Century” white paper was issued last October, the Foreign Ministry expressed its concern through meetings with the Australian high-level officials, including the Education Minister, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Ambassador to the ROK. The Foreign Ministry has also continuously requested the Australian side put Korean on its list of priority Asian languages.
3. The Australian government’s decision to put Korean on the list is the result of continued diplomatic efforts by the ROK government and lawmakers. It is expected to make the Korean language more popular and bring more attention to the ROK in Australia.
4. In a bid to create a favorable environment for further spread of Korean in Australia, the ROK government will expand programs to introduce Korean culture to Australians in a systematic and continuous manner and facilitate training programs for Australian teachers teaching Korean, as well as people-to-people exchanges, such as sisterhood relationship between schools and cities.
Spokesperson and Deputy Minister for Public Relations of MOFA