TODAY, the people of South Korea celebrate its National Liberation Day. It is known as Gwangbokjeol, which means “Restoration of Light” day. It marks Korea’s independence from Japanese imperial rule at the end of World War II in 1945, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Korea in 1948.
National Liberation Day in South Korea is marked with various activities and events throughout the day. An official ceremony is held at the Sejong Center for Performing Arts with high officials, independence movement representatives, and members of the international diplomatic community. To honor the memory of former Independence Movement leaders, a large bell is rung at precisely 12 noon. The South Korean national flag, or Tae-guk, is prominently displayed.
South Korea is located at the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. It is largely mountainous, with small valleys and narrow coastal plains. It has two volcanic islands. Jeju Island and Ullung Island. The East Sea (Japan Sea) lies to the east, the Yellow Sea to the west, and the East China Sea to the south. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is to the north. The country’s capital and largest city is Seoul. It is home to Cheomseongdae Observatory, the world’s first astronomical laboratory, built during the mid-600s at Gyeongju. As of 2018, it has 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Philippines and South Korea have warm and friendly relations dating back to March 3, 1949, when the Philippines recognized the Republic of Korea as a sovereign nation. During the “Korea-Asia Energy Cooperation Seminar” in July, 2017, in Seoul, Korea, several companies expressed interest in exploring energy investment opportunities in the Philippines. The June, 2018, visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to South Korea resulted in new government-to-government agreements for wider collaboration in science and technology, infrastructure development, renewable energy deployment, trade and economic relations, transportation, agriculture, forestry, and communications. He witnessed the signing of 23 business agreements between the two countries which are projected to generate around 20,000 to 25,000 jobs.
The relationship between the Philippines and Korea will be strengthened in the year 2019, the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.
We greet the People and Government of the South Korea, led by President Moon Jae-in, on the occasion of its National Liberation Day.