President Horta awards Medal of Merit to Korean Ambassador, Kim Jeong-Ho

President Horta awards Medal of Merit to Korean Ambassador, Kim Jeong-Ho


DILI, 07 january 2023 (TATOLI) – The President of the Republic, José Ramos-Horta, on Saturday, awarded Timor-Leste’s Medal of Merit to the South Korean Ambassador, Kim Jeong Ho, after serving a two-year diplomatic mission in Timor-Leste.

President Horta conferred the Medal of Merit on the outgoing Ambassador Kim Jeong Ho in recognition of his outstanding services and contributions to Timor-Leste. 

“For the past two years working here, meeting various people on many occasions, what I have repeatedly underlined is that the Republic of Korea and Timor-Leste, the long-standing relationship between the two countries, their relationship has been made for and sacrificed for each other. The relationship is full of meaningful memories, and that relationship continues to this day,” Ambassador Kim said at the Presidential Palace, on Saturday. 

Kim expressed his deep gratitude to President Horta for his deep affection for Korea and his contribution to the formation of a close friendship between the countries. 

He said that Korea has been making efforts to promote various development projects in the field of health, children’s education, and nutrition, youth development agriculture, fisheries, and prevention of gender-based violence: “Some projects have been successfully implemented, some are still underway, and some were just about to start, and unfortunately I have been called back to South Korea.”

Kim promised to promote Timor-Leste in South Korea about what beautiful Timor-Leste is, how warm-hearted Timorese people are and how much potential Timor-Leste has. 

President Ramos-Horta expressed his gratitude and that of the country for the support Ambassador Kim extended to Timor-Leste. 

Horta said the bilateral relationship between Timor-Leste and Korea has been going from strength to strength since 1999.

The relationship between Korea and Timor-Leste dates back to 1999. At that time, Korean President Kim Dae Jung at the APEC Summit held in New Zealand in september placed a strong emphasis on the need for the international community to provide assistance to Timor-Leste. Also, Dr. Sohn Bong-Scuk served as the Commissioner of the UN International Electoral Commission (IEC) for the Popular Consultation of Timor-Leste in 1999 and as the Chair of the UN IEC for the 2001 Constituent Assembly of Timor-Leste. What is more, Korea dispatched the Evergreen Force (ROKBATT) from 1999 to 2003 to contribute to the peace and stability of Timor-Leste and five Korean soldiers lost their lives during their mission in Oecusse.

Korea is delighted to play a full part in the development of Timor-Leste. Korea is engaging in various aid activities in a range of fields such as education, health, gender equality, and capacity-building through KOICA. Hundreds of young Timorese people go to Korea every year to work and learn vocational skills and gain valuable experience there. 

Korea also plays a valuable part in the sports field. The Korean Embassy is working hard to generate interest in Taekwondo in Timor-Leste. And in fact, the Timorese National youth soccer team has won the world championship under the guidance of Korean coach Kim Shin-hwan.



Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges


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