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Culture news
Korea to Open St. Petersburg Consulate
03.24.2006 16:01

korea_roh_moo-hyun Korea will open a consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia, complementing existing consulates in Moscow and Vladivostok next month as per President Roh Moo-hyun’s agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin in his September 2004 visit to Russia.

St. Petersburg was chosen because of the increasing number of Korean tourists and visitors and the increasing diplomatic demands caused by the city’s growing exchanges with Korea. The consulate will be in charge of supporting about 3,000 ethnic Koreans.

The consul general-designate, Choi Jae-geun, said, “I will proceed to my new post as soon as possible.”

The establishment of the new consulate also has historical meaning. In 1900, the first legation of Korea was established in St. Petersburg, then the capital of Russian Empire. Lee Bum-jin, Korea’s diplomatic representative, later killed himself in 1910 in protest of Japan’s annexation of Korea.

Traces of history still remain in the city. Lee Bum-jin stayed in the Hotel Oktabriskaya.

Korean Air will open direct flights between St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport and Korea’s Incheon International Airport starting April 25. In the past, one had to stop over in Moscow to reach St. Petersburg from Korea. Lee Dong-su, the head of Korean Air’s Moscow office, said, “We are seeking to open regular direct flights.”

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Korea has many ties to St. Petersburg. The first Korean language course in Europe was offered at St. Petersburg University. The Korea musician Victor Choi, also stayed in the city. He died at the age of 28 in a car accident on August 15, 1990, and is buried in a St. Petersburg cemetery.

News source: english.donga.com
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