Korea’s new Ambassador arrives

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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WELCOME TO SAMOA: Sung Hee Choi, Ambassador Seung-bae Yeo, Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II and Masiofo, Leinafo and Leiataua Jerry Brunt.

WELCOME TO SAMOA: Sung Hee Choi, Ambassador Seung-bae Yeo, Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II and Masiofo, Leinafo and Leiataua Jerry Brunt. (Photo: Ilia L. Likou)

Seung-bae Yeo is the new Ambassador of Korea to Samoa. 

He presented his credentials to the Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II yesterday. 

Samoa and the Republic of Korea began diplomatic relations in 1972. 

 “Relations between our two countries reached new heights last year thanks to high level visits,” he said. 

“These included the Samoan Prime Minister’s participation in the third Korea-Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Seoul and the visit to Samoa by the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea on the occasion of the post forum dialogue in September last year.” 

 “Korea wishes to further strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest. In particular, as we have overcome poverty and became a full-fledged donor country, Korea hopes to share our experiences and knowledge to improve the resilience and economic self-reliance of Samoa.” 

“Our provision of official development assistance in the form of medical equipment for hospitals to improve the health of your citizens illustrates our commitment.” His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano welcomed Mr. Yeo.

“Samoa supports the Republic of Korea’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of the U.N. Security Council decisions on the situation in the North Korean peninsula.” 

“The nuclear threat posed is a high security concern for the region and Samoa. Samoa is playing its role in meeting its commitments in the implementation of the U.N. resolutions on sanctions on North Korea.”

“Last year in September, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Korea attended the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Samoa, which reflects the commitment of the Republic of Korea to its membership as a Forum Dialogue partner.” 

“This high level engagement was reaffirmed by Korea when hosting the triennial Korea-Pacific Island Foreign Ministers Meeting in December 2017, at which it accepted the Blue Pacific one continent identity for the region towards a common foreign policy on specific issues of priority for the Pacific.”

“I wish you the very best in your tenure as the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Samoa and I am confident that your office will continue to advocate for the warm relations that our two countries enjoy and in promoting areas for further cooperation between our Governments.” 

Mr. Yeo graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the Seoul National University in Korea in 1990 and a Masters in Arts in International Politics from the University of Virginia in 1998. 

Also in 1990, Mr. Yeo passed the High Diplomatic Service Examination and began his diplomatic career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Ten years later in the Foreign Ministry, he began his posting as the First Secretary at the Embassy in the United States of America (2000), and in 2003 assigned to the Embassy in the Republic of Senegal. 

He returned to Korea as the Chief of the Nuclear Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (M.O.F.A.T.) in 2005, a Director of the North Korean Nuclear Affairs Division 11 in 2006 and later that year he became the Secondment to the Office of the President. 

Later he was assigned to many of the following diplomatic posts: Counsellor at the Embassy in the People’s Republic of China (2007), Counsellor at the Embassy in the Kingdom of Norway (Jan 2011), Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Aug 2011). 

In 2012, he returned to the Republic of Korea to become the Advisor at the Office of the State Secretary of Foreign Affairs. 

Mr. Yeo was later assigned as the Deputy Director General for the office of Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs at M.O.F.A.T. in 2012, then becoming the Senior Director of the National Security Council Secretariat in 2014. 

Prior to his assignment to Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to New Zealand and Pacific Region, he was the appointed Director General for North American Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2016. Mr. Yeo received a Service Merit Medal in December 2012.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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