New Australian Ambassador to Korea William Paterson attends his welcoming ceremony at the New International Hotel in Seoul, Monday night. / Korea Times
By John Redmond
Members of the Korean Australian Friendship Society (KAFS) held a luncheon to welcome the incoming Australian Ambassador to Korea William Paterson at the New International Hotel in Seoul, Monday night.
A welcome speech from KAFS President Kim Song-hee was followed by a thank-you speech from Paterson.
Amb. Patterson stressed the importance of this 60th anniversary of the Korean War (1950-53) armistice.
"Though it did not end the war, it put a cease to hostilities," he said.
He too stressed the bond between the two countries with trade being a crucial factor. "Korea is major trading partner with trade between the two countries reaching $30 billion," he said, adding that Australia supplies raw materials and buys back machinery and electronic goods.
He also stressed the need for a free trade agreement between the two countries. "An FTA is crucial to promoting trade between South Korea and Australia and the strong bond between the two nations," he said.
The subject of North Korea also came up as he stated that Australian forces will be arriving in Korea to take part in military exercises.
Kim Song-hee presented Paterson with a ceramic art work in recognition of his efforts to improve ties between the two countries.
KAFS has been active for some 30 years as a program that involves the exchange of ideas and skills between Korea and Australia. These include job training, educational programs and trade opportunities.