The Embassy of South Korea in Cairo celebrated National Foundation Day at the residence of the Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea to Egypt Yoon Yeocheolin in Maadi on 3 October.
The event was attended by senior state officials and media personnel.
National Foundation Day is a public holiday observed by South Korea to commemorate the founding of Korea, and its people.
The event commenced with a speech by the ambassador of South Korea in the presence of Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Osama Heikel, Chairman of Information Committee of the Egyptian Parliament and his Egyptian friends and colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps, among others.
He then continued his speech saying, “Let me thank H.E. President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who has kindly sent his message of congratulations on our national day to H.E. President Moon, his government and the Korean people. This most kind gesture is the proof of our solid friendship and will be very much appreciated by all of us. The date of 3 October is called ‘Gae Cheon Jeol’ in Korea, literally meaning “the day when the Heaven opened.”
"Every nation has a myth about its origin. Ours tells us that the son of Heavenly emperor descended on the Earth, on the Korean peninsula, and his son established the very first kingdom of Korean people, in 2,333 B.C. Maybe we don’t want to admit to ourselves that Korea is just one of so many new republics born after the World War II and declare with pride our history of thousands of years. But to my mind, we celebrate National Foundation Day to remind ourselves of the philosophy of the Founder: ‘Hong Ik Ingan’. I think we all share the noble belief that state and its institutions are all meant to benefit humans.”
“Of course, when it comes to old history or kingdoms, we cannot compete with Egyptians. We don't have pyramids or sphinx to back up the story of the first kingdom written by later dynasties in Korea. Even in the year 2,333 B.C., the Pyramids in Giza were more than 200 years old! But Korea and Egypt shared the same destiny of young republics to shed the shadows of old kingdoms and embark on the journey of making people’s lives better with a new vision and determination.”
“As such, Korea and Egypt have been close friends for a long time, though our official relationship started as late as 1995. At the first press conference I had two weeks after my arrival, I declared that Korea highly appreciates Egypt, not only for its glorious history and civilization of pyramids and sphinx but also for the important role Egypt plays for regional peace and security and its exemplary society of openness, tolerance and diversity. Particularly after the historic visit by H.E. President Al-Sisi to Korea in March 2016, and the adoption of comprehensive cooperation partnership, our bilateral relations have developed very rapidly,” Yeocheol added.
The evening celebrations included cutting the national day cake by Yeocheol and his wife, together with Assistant Foreign Minister for Asian Affairs Ambassador Khaled Sarwat, Chairman of the Egypt-Korea Business Council Khaled Mohamed Nosseir, Head of the Egyptian-Korean Friendship Association Alaa Fahmy, Counselor Hany Abdel-Gabbar, governor of Beni Sweif and Osama Heikel, Chairman of Information Committee of the Egyptian Parliament.
The event was enlivened by the performance of the Korean Percussion troupe Jin Myung.
To mark this occasion, the troupe gave performances at the Cairo Opera House Main Hall on 30 September and on 2 October at the Alexandria Opera House Sayed Darwish Theatre.