Governor General to Attend Inauguration Ceremony of President-Elect of the Republic of Korea


OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb 22, 2013) - At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will attend the inauguration ceremony of Park, Geun-hye, President-elect of the Republic of Korea, in Seoul, on Monday, February 25, 2013.

"As 2013 marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Republic of Korea, I''m honoured to represent Canada at the inauguration ceremony of Park, Geun-hye, President-elect of the Republic of Korea," said the Governor General. "Canada''s long-standing relationship with Korea started when Canadian missionaries and teachers made notable cultural, scientific and social contributions to the country''s development. Over the last five decades, our bilateral relationship has grown, and has led to Canada and South Korea becoming important trading partners. While in Seoul, I look forward to further strengthening our diplomatic ties with the Korean people and government officials during official functions and events."

In Seoul, His Excellency will meet with President-elect Park, Geun-hye to discuss bilateral relations between Canada and Korea, as well as attend a dinner she is hosting. The Governor General will also participate in a round-table discussion on trade with members of Korean civil society, deliver a keynote address on the Diplomacy of Knowledge at Yonsei University, lay a wreath at the Korean War Memorial, and visit the Korean Demilitarized Zone, one of the last remaining symbols of the Cold War.

Below is the detailed itinerary (Korea Standard Time):

Sunday, February 24
5:50 p.m.
Arrival in Seoul
Upon his arrival, His Excellency will be welcomed by Korean government representatives, as well as by Mr. David Chatterson, Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Korea, and a guard of honour.
Seoul Air Base, Seoul
Monday, February 25
11 a.m.
Inauguration Ceremony
His Excellency will represent Canada at the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Park, Geun-hye.
National Assembly Plaza, Seoul
1 p.m.
Round-table Discussion on Collaboration for Prosperity in a Competitive World
His Excellency will participate in a round-table discussion on trade with members of Korean civil society.
Official Residence of the Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Korea, Seoul
4 p.m.
Governor General Keynote Address at Yonsei University
His Excellency will deliver a keynote address entitled "Where East Meets West: Canada, Korea and the Diplomacy of Knowledge" to students and faculty staff at Yonsei University, as well as participate in a question-and-answer session with the audience. The Governor General will also be appointed a distinguished honorary fellow by Dr. Kap-Young Jeong, President of Yonsei University, for his support for higher education and academic co-operation and partnerships between universities in the Republic of Korea and Canada. Yonsei University was first established in 1885, by Christian missionaries, making it the oldest private university in Korea.
For more information, visit
Chang Ki-Won International Conference Room, Yonsei-Samsung Library Building, Seoul
7:30 p.m.
Dinner Hosted by the President of the Republic of Korea
In honour of her installation, the President will host a dinner for foreign dignitaries who attended the inauguration ceremony. His Excellency will attend the dinner on behalf of Canada.
Blue House, Seoul
Tuesday, February 26
8:40 a.m.
Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the War Memorial of Korea
In the presence of Lieutenant General (ret) Sun, Young-Jae, Director of the War Memorial of Korea, His Excellency will lay a wreath in honour of the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement. During this war, 516 Canadians were killed of which 378 are buried in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan, South Korea.
The War Memorial of Korea opened in 1994, on the former site of the army headquarters, to exhibit and memorialize the military history of Korea. The memorial building has six indoor exhibition rooms and an outdoor exhibition centre displaying over 13 000 items of war memorabilia and military equipment.
War Memorial of Korea, Seoul
9:30 a.m.
Meeting with the President of the Republic of Korea
The Governor General will meet Her Excellency Park, Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea, to discuss bilateral relations between Canada and Korea.
Blue House, Seoul
11 a.m.
Visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
His Excellency will visit the United Nations Command and the Joint Security Area in the DMZ. This strip of land runs along the 38th parallel north, across the Korean Peninsula, and serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea. The DMZ is 250 kilometres long and approximately four kilometres wide.

Visits abroad by a governor general play an important role in Canada''s relations with other countries. They mark further developments in bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples.

Members of the public can follow the visit to the Republic of Korea online at, where photos of the Governor General will be posted.

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Marie-Eve Letourneau
Rideau Hall Press Office

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