To commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relation between Bhutan and Republic of Korea, foreign ministry and Bhutan Post released a joint stamp album in Thimphu yesterday.

The messages of His Majesty The King and the President of Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in, were also exchanged during the event.

Officiating Prime Minister Lyonpo Dorji Choden said the choice of stamps to commemorate the anniversary could not be better. “Stamps connect people and culture across time and space making itself a perfect tool for diplomacy.”

She said that since 1991, under Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) training programmes, Bhutan has been able to enhance human resource in various development fields. “Starting 2014 until today, we have over 1,000 slots being offered and availed by Bhutanese, in different fields. Human capacity development will remain a priority for the government of Bhutan.”

Ambassador Ahn Seong-doo handed over the second batch of seven protocol vehicles worth about  USD 250,000 to the foreign ministry. The first batch consisting of four protocol vehicles were gifted last year. “This special gesture will go a long way in strengthening the current fleet of protocol cars at the foreign ministry,” Lyonpo said.

Ambassador Ahn Seong-doo, along with seven senior officials from the Korean embassy in Dhaka and a 29 member cultural troupe from Korea, are in the country from September 22 to 27 to celebrate the grand finale to mark the 30th anniversary.

Ambassador Ahn Seong-doo said: “Our friendship during the past three decades not only enabled great appreciation of each other’s culture, history and ways of life, but also facilitated diversification of our fields of cooperation ranging from trade, economy and development.”

He said that to mark the 30th anniversary, governments of the two countries have agreed to open a KOICA voluntary service in Bhutan.  “Until now governments of Korea and Bhutan have cooperated in many areas, but we feel that human resource is one of the most important development cooperation fields between the governments.”

Ambassador Ahn Seong-doo said the project is in its final stages and that by the end of the year, Korean government would be able to send voluntary assistance in the areas of planning, constructions, electronics, and agriculture. “This is a very important presence, without physical presence we have difficulties cooperating but with the opening of KOICA voluntary office here, we can deepen our cooperation.”

Diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Republic of Korea was established on September 24, 1987.

Karma Cheki