KPP Delegation Celebrates Canada-Korea Ties’ 60th Anniversary

The Delegation meeting with the South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs

Prof. Kyung-Ae Park Led the KPP-Parliamentarian Delegation to South Korea to Celebrate 60th Anniversary of Canada-Korea Diplomatic Ties

A delegation of six Canadian parliamentarians traveled to South Korea from April 9-13, 2023, as part of the Knowledge Partnership Program (KPP) at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA), University of British Columbia (UBC). Led by Prof. Kyung-Ae Park, the Founding Director of the KPP, the delegation aimed to enhance the knowledge diplomacy of the program and celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and South Korea.

During the visit, the delegation participated in a seminar with their Korean counterparts to discuss Canada-Korea cooperation in the rapidly changing global political and economic security landscape, as well as on the Korean Peninsula. The seminar, which was co-organized by the KPP and the National Assembly Secretariat and hosted by the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee of the National Assembly, sought to create a platform for dialogue between the Canadian Parliament and the Korean National Assembly, enhancing mutual understanding and knowledge. The KPP and the National Assembly also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to encourage knowledge sharing, policy dialogue, and academic discussions in common areas of interest. The MOU aims to promote policy-relevant research, conferences, symposiums, and short-term visits.

In addition to the seminar, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the delegation held meetings with current and former top government officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Unification, Minister of Trade, Special Representative for North Korea, former UN Secretary-General, and former Prime Ministers and Ministers. They also met with scholars, policy experts, and heads of foreign missions to explore measures for future cooperation and broaden the horizons of parliamentary diplomacy.

The non-partisan delegation consisted of the following seven members:

  • Professor Kyung-Ae Park, University of British Columbia, Delegation leader (Founding Director of the Knowledge Partnership Program, KPP)
  • The Honourable Ed Fast, Member of Parliament, Conservative Party (Former Minister, International Trade)
  • Mr. Ali Ehsassi, Member of Parliament, Liberal Party (Chair, Foreign Affairs and International Development Committee)
  • The Honourable Yuen Pau Woo, Senator, Independent Senators Group (Former Facilitator, Independent Senators Group)
  • The Honourable Clément Gignac, Senator, Progressive Senate Group (Former Minister, Economic Development, Innovation, and Export Trade, Quebec government)
  • Mr. Randy Hoback, Member of Parliament, Conservative Party (Shadow Minister, International Trade and Supply Chain Resilience)
  • Mr. Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament, Liberal Party (Member, International Trade Committee)

This visit marked the third delegation visit under the KPP initiative launched last year to strengthen parliamentary diplomacy between Canada and South Korea. The April visit presented an excellent opportunity to strengthen the relationships established during previous visits and to further prioritize parliamentary diplomacy between the two countries.

In the Media:

Prof. Kyung-Ae Park was interviewed on the potential role that Canada can play in inter-Korean relations, peace, and security on the Korean Peninsula and the impact of the Track II engagements with both North and South Korea, focusing on the 2023 KPP-Parliamentarian Delegation Visit. The visit-related reports appeared across more than 100 media outlets and government news portals in Korea, the US, and Canada, including The JoongAng IlboYonhap News AgencyYTN, News1Radio Free AsiaThe Korea Daily, Newsis, the South Korean National Assembly, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Unification, and Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy. They all featured the delegation visit and meetings with senior government officials and the National Assembly.