Vietnam Welcomes President Park’s State Visit

President Park recently returned from a state visit to Vietnam, her first to a Southeast Asian country and one that showcased what Korean media are calling her “sales diplomacy”. Park’s delegation signed a number of trade deals and spoke about the prominent role South Korea should play in Vietnam’s planned expansion of its nuclear power industry. Online reception, (from the conservative Naver news portal) was generally positive, with rosy descriptions of the bilateral relationship and compliments for Park’s diplomacy.

The visit also produced the bizarre photo of Park, whose father sent more than 300,000 South Korean soldiers to fight the North Vietnamese, placing flowers at a shrine in honor of Ho Chi Minh, the founder of North Vietnam and Chairman of its Communist Party until 1969. The South Korean president also walked the catwalk at a fashion show in a hanbok.


Pres. Park laying flowers at the shrine of Ho Chi Minh

From NEWSis:

At Summit, Vietnamese President Calls Korea ‘country-in-law’

In a summit with President Park Geun-hye, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang expressed his affinity for Korea by calling it ‘country-in-law’.

After the official welcome ceremony in the morning, Park began her five-day state visit in Vietnam with a summit meeting, followed by a signing ceremony and joint press conference. Foreign Affairs Minister Yoon Byeong-se said the summit lasted for an hour and forty minutes, extended by twenty minutes from the original schedule. According to Yoon, President Truong began the meeting by pleasantly saying “Korea is a true friend, a country-in-law.” He brought up the fact that there are about 50,000 Korean-Vietnamese multicultural married couples in Korea as an indication of their closeness. Regarding this, both leaders expressed support for the multicultural families to become a bridge between the two countries. President Truong said, “I hope there will be talented second- or third-generation individuals from multicultural families who become politicians in Korea.”


Pres. Park Geun-hye and Pres. Truong Tan Sang

Prior to the welcome ceremony, President Truong welcomed special attendant Lee Byeong-seok, Vice-Chairman of the National Assembly, by calling him an “old friend”. He also asked ambassador Jeon Dae-ju for a handshake as a friendly gesture saying “He is Vietnamese as he has lived in Vietnam for 18 years. I’m grateful that we have an ambassador who knows Vietnam very well.”

For the signing event and joint press conference after the summit, reporters from both countries struggled to secure the best spot. In the press conference, President Truong said, “We just had a very fruitful talk in an atmosphere of friendship and trust. I highly value our countries’ partnership in political, economic and cultural fields.” President Park said, “I’m happy to visit our strategic partner Vietnam. I send our people’s warm regards to the Vietnamese people.” And she said ‘thank you’ in Vietnamese. Afterwards, President Park, escorted by President Truong, visited the shrine to Ho Chi Minh, one of the founders of modern Vietnam. The visit took twenty minutes longer than planned as President Truong personally guided President Park.

President Park had a meeting with National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Shin Hung and the Communist Party’s General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at a luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. Chairman Nguyen said, “Our National Assembly will do our best to provide a good environment for Korean investors,” while recalling his visits to Korean companies such as Samsung, Kumho, Hyundai and Lotte last July. He also said, “In our strategic partnership, it is very important to work with Korean corporations. Vietnam is willing to promote friendship and solidarity with Korea.” In response, President Park said, “I’m grateful for your warm welcome. I look forward to a deeper relationship between Korea and Vietnam, which have developed in the last twenty years.” General Secretary Nguyen, in a subsequent meeting, said to President Park, “I congratulate you for becoming the first female President of Korea. I hope your leadership will play an important role in helping Korea prosper in the world.”

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Pres. Park attending a fashion show in Vietnam.

Comments from Naver:


Fire all Korean noble unionized workers [‘noble labor union’ is a term that disparages unionized workers for allegedly being too demanding and confrontational.] and move Hyundai Motor plants to Vietnam~~


President Park Geun-hye, I always support you. I’m proud of you.


50,000 couples? Korean history textbooks will have to change. We are not homogeneous. We are mixed people.


Why do Jeolla people retaliate against Gyeongsang province when their region is bashed? Don’t they know the rest of our country hates them as well?


30% of our population must be opposing anything for the sake of opposition, ke ke ke ke ke. It’s intriguing that the number is about the same as Jeolla province’s proportion of the Korean population.


Vietnam is so open-minded and manages their country decently. What is the other communist country, North Korea, doing?


The Vietnamese are hard-working like Koreans. Vietnam also resembles Korea in that after French colonialism, they were divided into the North and the South who fought a war with each other. Honestly, I don’t feel very strongly about the Philippines but I definitely feel close to Vietnam. I hope Korea and Vietnam get closer and maintain a cooperative relationship.


Unlike former President Lee Myung-bak, President Park isn’t the type who is very outgoing and makes friends with a lot of people..but it seems she has the charm to make a favorable impression on those she definitely needs to meet. I think she is doing efficient diplomacy unlike Lee Myung-bak who was travelling abroad all the time.


Vietnam is one of the most promising countries in South East Asia. I hope we keep a good partnership with them.


International marriage is all good. However, divorcees should be deprived of Korean citizenship. In Japan, they don’t just give out citizenship for marriage immigrants. Only their children get it. Korea should change the law so we don’t fill our country with foreigners from South East Asia.


Korea gave unforgettable wounds to Vietnam [in the Vietnam War]. Despite that, they welcome us as a country-in-law. Vietnam is truly a great country, the first to defeat the U.S.


To keep a clear conscience, our country has to be apologetic about the Vietnam War. We shouldn’t be like Japan.


Among foreign workers, Vietnamese are the best. Filipinos are now similar to Joseonjok.


Lefty zombies were quietly down-voting Lee Seok-ki articles. Now that Park Geun-hye is visiting Vietnam, they try to make lame excuses to bash her, ke ke ke. A.W.E.S.O.M.E.


There is nothing bad about promoting friendship with another country. Why are there many critical comments?

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