Saturday, July 8, 2017

Foreign Ministry Successfully Wraps Up “Public Diplomacy Acad...

1. The Foreign Ministry held on June 30 the second round of its 'public diplomacy academy 2017' event themed 'public diplomacy through sports and contents,' bringing together some 150 people, including civilian public diplomats and other members of the public. The first round of the event took place on May 19 joined by some 200 people, making the total number of the participants in the two-round academy event 350. An athlete to compete in the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and a character designer joined the second round of the event as mentors, deeply touching the hearts of the other participants and drawing good responses from them.

° The first lecture was delivered by para-ice hockey player Han Min-soo on 'reasons that legless I want to become a bridge'; and the second on 'knowhow for contents production' and 'ways for on-line and off-line communication' by character designer Kwon soon-ho, who had created Kakao Friends character for Kakao, a mobile texting application. Heated discussions on public diplomacy through sports on the international stage and through contents followed.

° The 'public diplomacy academy' event was organized as an opportunity for the civilian public diplomats, selected for participation in the Foreign Ministry's 'public diplomacy with the people' projects, to engage in an exchange with experts in various sectors and thereby to strengthen their diplomatic capability. At the first round of the event, professor Choi Jung-hwa, the Republic of Korea's first-ever interpreter for international conferences, and Ilya Belyakov, a foreign entertainer in the ROK, delivered lectures on 'global communication and public diplomacy' and 'stereotyping and prejudice,' respectively.

2. Director-General for Cultural Affairs Lee Eun-yong of the Foreign Ministry delivered greeting remarks, in which he extended appreciation to the public and civilian public diplomats, saying that 'their interest and efforts had played a role in the great growth in quantity and quality of the 'public diplomacy with the people' projects. On that note, he asked the civilian public diplomats to 'to do their best until the very last minute to fulfill their missions.' Meanwhile, Olympic athlete Han, expressing pleasure over his participation in the event themed 'public diplomacy through sports,' commented that 'the people will make united efforts to make a success of the Pyeongchang Paralympic Winter Games and thereby help enhance our country's international standing.'

° The head of the 'MOA' team, one of the groups to conduct one of the 'public diplomacy with the people' projects, mentioned that 'My team learned a lot from various cases presented at the public diplomacy academy event. They will help immensely in planning and carring out my team's activities.' The leader of 'Onjeong (warm affection)' youth public diplomacy team commented that 'I had this prejudice that only certain people engage in public diplomacy. I have come to realize that any national of the ROK can serve as a civilian diplomat, and that not only Hansik (Korean food) and K-pop but also many other elements, particular warm hearts toward foreigners, are important in carrying out public diplomacy.'

3. With its two-round 'public diplomacy academy' event having drawn keen interest and response from the public, the Foreign Ministry will hold an additional such event in the second half of the year 2017. Furthermore, it will actively conduct cultural public diplomacy projects together with the people in an effort to enhance the ROK's national image and standing.

* unofficial translation

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