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City council of South Korea’s Busan establishes Taiwan friendship group

Second-largest Korean city aims to expand Taiwan-Korean exchange and collaboration

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Busan city councilors pose for a photo at the inauguration ceremony of its Taiwan friendship group. (Taipei Mission in South Korea, Busan Office photo...

Busan city councilors pose for a photo at the inauguration ceremony of its Taiwan friendship group. (Taipei Mission in South Korea, Busan Office photo...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The city council of Busan, a major city in southern South Korea, saw the inauguration ceremony of a Taiwan friendship group on Monday (Jan. 10), the first for a local government in Korea.

CNA reported that Kim Jin-hong, founding chair of the friendship group, said at the ceremony that as tourism as well as economic and cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Korea continue to flourish, the friendship group aims to add even more momentum to both countries’ interaction. Additionally, he said he intends to invite Taiwanese experts to anti-pandemic events and seminars to share Taiwan’s successful experience in preventing COVID-19.

Lin Chen-fu (林晨富), director-general of Taipei Mission in South Korea’s Busan Office, responded warmly to the message and said Taiwan is happy to share its experiences and join Korea in the fight against COVID. He highlighted the shared values of democracy, freedom, rule of law, and human rights between the two countries, as well as the continued volume of bilateral trade despite the pandemic, saying mutual investment between Taiwan and South Korea is expected to keep growing.

Lin added that Busan and Taiwan’s Kaohsiung have been sister cities for 56 years. Last year, on the 55th anniversary of the cities’ sisterhood, the Busan city government showcased the phrase “Lights On! Kaohsiung Fighting!” to celebrate the event. He said he hopes to work closely with the friendship group in efforts to promote Taiwan-Korean relations in the future.

Per CNA, the inauguration ceremony saw few guests due to pandemic prevention restrictions; aside from Kim, seven other councilors attended. However, the group received many congratulatory messages from members of the parliament, including Cho Kyoung-tae, chair of the Taiwan-Korean parliamentary friendship group.