Austria-celebrates-National-Day-in-Seoul
Austria’s Amb. Wolfgang Angerholzer to Seoul, center, speaks with participants in the event of celebrating the national day of the country recently held in Seoul. Photo by Yeo Hong-il/Korea News Plus

Austria’s 130th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Korea marked

On the occasion of the 130th diplomatic anniversary between South Korea and Austria, the latter’s diplomats recently held a commemorative reception in Seoul.

During the event hosted by Amb. Wolfgang Angerholzer & Mme. Susanne Angerholzer, Austria’s Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg delivered his addresses.

Through the speech, Schallenberg showed deep sympathy with the fact that Korea and Austria have many things in common such as an open society and rule-based international order.

He even briefly served as Prime Minister of Austria late last year.

Schallenberg also conveyed worries about Russia as well as North Korea’s nuclear problems to hurt regional security and peace.

Before the ceremony, he met Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, and Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik of the Korea Enterprises Federation.

Han welcomed Schallenberg, who visited Korea for the first time in 21 years as an Austrian foreign minister, and evaluated that various commemorative events were being held this year, including the exchange of congratulatory letters between the presidents of the two countries.

According to the press release of the Austrian Embassy in Seoul, Schallenberg thanked Han for his welcome and said he hoped the visit would further develop the Korea-Austria strategic partnership, which was upgraded last year, and hoped to continue the momentum for high-level exchanges.

On top of that, Prime Minister Han also said he is pleased that the two countries maintain close economic relations and expects to create significant synergy if they cooperate with Austria, which has excellent science and technology capabilities, and Korean companies with world-class commercialization and industrialization capabilities.

Out of a total of 23 Nobel Prizes from Austria as of 2022, 17 Nobel Prize winners were produced in basic science alone: physiological medicine (7), chemical (6), and physics (4), according to its country statics.

Schallenberg said that it is meaningful that Korea and Austria are expanding cooperation in various fields such as trade, tourism, culture, and learning, and hopes to successfully host various diplomatic celebrations, including “Habsburg 600 Years, Masterpieces of Attraction.”

On Oct. 25 Schallenberg plans to take part in the opening event of the exhibition, which will continue through March 1.

Meanwhile, Han and Schallenberg also exchanged views on the Ukrainian war, the energy crisis in Europe, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

In addition, Prime Minister Han urged Austria’s active support, saying that it would host the 2030 World Expo on climate change, development cooperation, and inclusive technology in Busan, the year when the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Korean government’s national greenhouse gas reduction goals are achieved.

In the meantime, Chairman Sohn revealed his expectations of future cooperation between the two countries in a courtesy call from Schallenberg.

Showing its country’s solidarity with Ukraine, which is suffering from a prolonged war, Austria Amb. Wolfgang Angerholzer attracted the attention of the participants.

Topping other things off, Angerholzer noted that the Habsburg exhibition will be held at the National Museum of Korea until the beginning of next year.

As the second important event, Angerholzer touted Bruckner Linz Orchestra’s tour visit to Korea, whose performances will attract music lovers here in Korea, including Bruckner Symphony No.5 and Beethoven Symphony No.7.

Thirdly, Angerholzer mentioned Schallenberg’s official visit to Korea, whose presence has special significance in commemorating the 130th diplomatic anniversary between the two nations.

The first Treaty of Friendship, Trade and Navigation between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Joseon Kingdom was signed in Tokyo in 1892, and diplomatic relations between the two countries have been established since then.

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Yeo studied German in Seoul. He has worked as a journalist for the past 40 years. He has mostly covered diplomacy, foreign schools, regional festivals, culture and other areas. He can be reached at hyeo7832@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.