New South Korean envoy to Nigeria assumes office, reels out bilateral, other plans 

New Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, Kim Pankyu, has revealed that his desire is to explore avenues that will improve the lots of his host country.

Ambassador Pankyu particularly assured that as a former military personnel, he will assist Nigeria in tackling security challenges.

The Ambassador during a media briefing in Abuja also spoke of the gains of the upcoming Korea-Africa Summit slated for June in Seoul, Korea.

He said, “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.” 

On security, he said Korea had at different times offered capacity-building programmes for the Nigerian military and other security agencies towards 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.

“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.”

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 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.