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Kazakhstan marks Republic Day, touts growing ties with Korea

Nov. 2, 2023 - 22:51 By Sanjay Kumar
Kazakhstan Ambassador to Korea Nurgali Arystanov delivers remarks at an official reception celebrating Kazakhstan's Republic Day on Oct. 25 at Lotte Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul. (Kazakh Embassy in Seoul)

The Kazakhstan Embassy in Seoul stressed the importance of promoting both high-level and people-to-people ties with Korea, marking the 32nd anniversary of Kazakhstan's declaration of sovereignty on October 25. Kazakhstan gained independence from the Soviet Union on December 16, 1991.

Delivering remarks at the event, Kazakhstan Ambassador to Korea Nurgali Arystanov lauded South Korea's pivotal role as a friendly strategic partner to his country, contributing to a dynamic economy, vibrant civil society and active foreign policy.

Arystanov spoke highly of high-level visits, including those of presidents, ministers and government representatives, and expressed commitment to advancing people-to-people relations.

He highlighted convenient air travel connections between Almaty and Seoul, with the 11 weekly flights operated by Air Astana and Asiana Airlines together being vital for people-to-people ties.

The duration of flights between Almaty and Seoul is 6 hours.

Kazakhstan is also working on launching a direct flight between Astana and Seoul, according to the embassy.

“Our citizens can visit our countries without a visa for up to one month, which facilitates direct contacts among officials, chief executives, cultural figures, experts and scholars," said Arystanov.

Kazakhstan's community of ethnic Koreans, Koryoin, plays a crucial role in bridging the cultural gap, according to Arystanov.

Kazakhstan established diplomatic relations with Korea in 1992, followed by the opening of embassies in 1993 and 1996.

Currently, the two countries are in discussions about signing a bilateral Trade and Investment Promotion Framework (TIPF) to further strengthen trade and economic ties.

Kazakh-Korea bilateral trade reached a record high of $6.53 billion in 2022, and the two countries have agreed to collaborate on supply chains for essential minerals and major infrastructure projects.

Attendees pose for a group photo at the 16th Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on Wednesday. (Kazakh Embassy in Seoul)

In a move to expand the Kazakh-Korea strategic partnership, a Kazakh delegation led by Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Murat Nurtleu, held a meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Park Jin, to discuss bilateral cooperation in a multilateral format in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on Wednesday.

According to the embassy, the 16th meeting of the Central Asia-South Korea Cooperation Forum, or C5+K Ministerial Meeting, has been significant with the attendance of foreign ministers of South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Following the meeting, a joint statement was adopted by the heads of delegations of the Central Asian countries and South Korea, said the embassy in a press release on Thursday.

South Korean Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Climate Change Kim Hyo-eun delivers remarks at an official reception of the national holiday of Kazakhstan on Oct. 25 at Lotte Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul. (Kazakh Embassy in Seoul)

Meanwhile, South Korean Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Climate Change Kim Hyo-eun also delivered remarks and noted South Korea and Kazakhstan's cooperation in responding to climate change and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

“The Korean community in Kazakhstan, our fellow countrymen and women, have played a really meaningful bridging role. This has bonded us all the more,” said Kim.

“Eighty-six years ago, in difficult times, we were sincerely appreciative of the Kazakh government and people who warmly embraced the ethnic Koreans who emigrated to Kazakhstan,” she added.

"A tree must have deep roots to be strong. A person needs to have friends to feel secure,” Kim said, referring to a Kazakh proverb.

Kazakhstan and South Korea are strengthening collaboration on climate change, the green economy and energy efficiency, both bilaterally and through multilateral platforms such as the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).