June 13, 2021 by archyde
The President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in, is visiting Austria on Monday and Tuesday accompanied by his wife Kim Jung-sook. South Korea’s head of state will meet with Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) as well as Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) and National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP) in Vienna on Monday. An excursion to Heiligenkreuz Abbey in Lower Austria is planned for Tuesday.
Moon is received with military honors on Monday morning and is accompanied by Eui-Yong Chung. As part of the state visit, a bilateral cultural and double taxation agreement will be signed. In addition, a press conference is on the program for Moon after the talks with Van der Bellen and Kurz.
In the evening there will be a state banquet in the Belvedere Palace in honor of the guest and his wife. A visit to Heiligenkreuz Abbey followed on Tuesday, where Moon was received by Abbot Maximilian Heim. The monastery in the Vienna Woods has existed without interruption since it was founded in 1133, making it the second oldest Cistercian monastery in the world after Rein monastery in Styria.
The South Korean ambassador to Austria, Shin Chae-hyun, pointed out in a guest comment published on Saturday for the daily newspaper “Die Presse” that bilateral cooperation had been “deepened” in the corona crisis. Moon and Kurz discussed joint measures against the virus and exchanged information in April 2020. Austria and South Korea are also “partners in climate issues”, wrote Shin, pointing out that electric cars produced in Korea would take second place on the Austrian market in 2020. The trade volume, which amounted to $ 2.9 billion in 2018, remained stable despite the pandemic.
In addition, the two countries would strive for joint basic research, including in the fields of energy and bio-sciences. Shin: “Against this background, I hope that the two nations will jointly advance the era of the fourth industrial revolution through their cooperation as pioneers – with a mix of Korean expertise in industrialization and commercialization as well as Austrian competitiveness in basic research.”
Around 2,700 Koreans live in Austria, and the Korea House of Culture in the Donaupark near the UNO City in Vienna-Donaustadt is a symbol of bilateral friendship and cooperation. Austria also supports the peace process initiated by President Moon, the aim of which is to create lasting peace on the Korean peninsula, the ambassador stated in the “press”. Korea was divided after World War II and the Korean War of 1950-53. The Stalinist North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea) is keeping not only the USA, South Korea’s ally, but the whole world in suspense with its nuclear weapons program.
As the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported, Moon Jae-in is taking part in the G7 summit in Great Britain this weekend. After his visit to Austria, Moon will also pay a state visit to Spain, and his return to Seoul is planned for June 18. In February 2019, Chancellor Kurz paid an official visit to South Korea. In 2007, then Federal President Heinz Fischer made a state visit to the East Asian country. “In the year 2021, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Austria can look back on 129 years of successful diplomatic relations, which were officially established in June 1892,” it said in advance in a letter sent by the South Korean embassy of the APA.
Austria-Hungary and Korea signed a friendship, trade and shipping treaty almost 130 years ago. The Kingdom (from 1895 empire) Korea, which had been pursuing a strict lock-up policy under the Yi dynasty, which had ruled since 1,392, was at that time still in a nominal vassal relationship to China, with which the Habsburg monarchy had maintained diplomatic relations since September 1869. In 1876 Japan forced the opening of the Korean ports, whereupon King Kojong also signed treaties with Russia and the Western powers. The first Korean envoy, Min Yong-Ik, arrived in Vienna in 1900.
The confrontation of interests on the Korean peninsula led to the Sino-Japanese War (1894/95) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904/05). The Japanese forced a protectorate treaty on the Korean court in 1905. In 1910 the Yi dynasty was dethroned and the country was incorporated into the Japanese Empire. Colonial rule did not end until Japan’s military defeat in 1945. The peninsula was occupied by Soviet troops in the north and US troops in the south. It was divided. Austria maintains diplomatic relations with both the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Korean Democratic People’s Republic (North Korea).