Academy aims to foster competitive diplomats: FM
Korea has launched an elite, state-run diplomatic academy to recruit and train more talented and competitive diplomats from diverse backgrounds in line with its growing profile on the international stage, Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said Tuesday.
The Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA), which will select its first batch of students early next year, was established as part of the nation's efforts to upgrade its diplomatic workforce to meet demands for its rising global profile, while abolishing the decades-old government-administered foreign service exam this year.
For decades, candidates have been required to pass the foreign service exam, following their graduation, to become a diplomat. The current exam, however, relies heavily on rote-centered written tests and is too outdated and unfit for discovering talented diplomats.
"Korea's role in the international society has been enlarged as we turned from international aid recipient to aid donor," Kim told the opening ceremony of the KNDA.
"I expect the KNDA to contribute greatly to enhancing Korea's diplomatic capacity by fostering competitive diplomats and developing mid- to long-term foreign policies through strengthened research," Kim said.
South Korea achieved an economic miracle on the ruins of the 1950-53 Korean War and then embraced democracy. It hosted a summit of the Group of 20 world major economies in 2010 and the second Nuclear Security Summit last month.
The academy will select candidates "through simplified written tests, and multi-stage and multi-layer verification," ministry officials said.
The new hiring system will select more specialists in foreign languages and other areas, such as energy, trade, disarmament and international law, through a revamped exam aimed at testing candidates' intellectual ability rather than memorized knowledge, they said.
It also calls for placing final candidates under a one-year training at the academy to see if they possess the qualifications necessary to become diplomats.
In the first half of next year, the academy will select 60 candidates for the academy and 40 of those who pass the training will be hired as foreign service officials, they said. (Yonhap)