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Korean Ambassador vows to support Nigeria in fighting insecurity

Nigeria remained a strong Korean partner in Africa, adding that the two countries can do more together.

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, KIM Pankyu and President Bola Tinubu [News Tarmac Nigeria]

He said this at a media parley in Abuja. Pankyu, who had just spent about 50 days in Nigeria, pledged to work toward expanding the partnership between the two countries for mutual benefit.

He said that Korea had at different times offered capacity-building programmes for the Nigerian military and other security agencies toward enhancing their capabilities.

“I intend to expand this kind of opportunities for Nigeria. I believe that counter-terrorism courses and training programmes are useful for Nigerian military officers.

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“We will also explore ways to have the Nigerian Government keep itself with proper hardware. The Korean navy has donated a patrol ship which will arrive in Lagos in a few months. I will explore ways to expand this kind of assistance.

“I will also explore ways to deepen the security cooperation to assist the country address insecurity. I will do that by using my expertise in military and security affairs which saw me through in my 40 years in the Korean Navy.

“On this, I would also like to focus on promoting cooperation on maritime security, because, securing maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea will essentially benefit many countries, including Korea.

“In addition, I would like to expand Korean support of capacity building for Nigerian Military and security Officers,” Pankyu said.

He said that Nigeria remained a strong Korean partner in Africa, adding that the two countries can do more together. He lauded the Federal Government for introducing reforms toward improving the business environment in the country.

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“I will explain these changes to Korean companies and encourage them to venture into Nigeria and make investments.

“I will facilitate a people to people exchange between Nigeria and Korea because I believe that culture has the power to connect people and improve understanding among them,” he stated.

He commended the Korean Culture Centre in Nigeria for playing significant roles in introducing Korean Culture to Nigerians, promising to provide opportunities for Nigerians to experience Korean content. Pankyu also promised to explore avenues of increasing study slots for Nigerians wishing to study in the Republic of Korea.

He said that the Korean Government had provided support toward food self-sufficiency in Africa through various projects like the K-Rice Belt Initiative to enhance high yield and food security on the continent.

“We have signed Memorandum of Understanding with 10 African Countries to promote K-Rice Belt Projects. Nigeria’s joining this project is being discussed and when it is realised, it will surely contribute to its agriculture sector,” he added.

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The Envoy said that the Korea-Africa Summit slated for June in Seoul, Korea, would help solidify the relationship between Korea and Africa and also Korea and Nigeria.

“The inaugural Korea-Africa Summit is expected to be the largest international gathering. This reflects Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol’s commitment to fostering mutually, beneficial, sustainable and strategic partnerships with Africa.

“This also marks significant steps in Korea’s comprehensive strategy to engage deeply with the global South, reflecting our commitment to global inclusiveness and cooperation.

“During the Summit, we will host many side events, and provide opportunities for Nigeria and Korea to explore ways to expand their bilateral economic and cultural exchange between government and private sector.

“I’m positive and believe that the coming Summit will set a new milestone in the relationship between Korea and Africa,” Pankyu stated.

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He said that Korean people were largely Super Eagles fans, as they enjoyed their superlative performance in international tournaments.

“The Korean people know Wole Soyinka, the literary Icon and they know the role of Nigeria in peace keeping in Africa,” he noted.

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