There is a proverb in Uzbekistan: “Things are better new, friends are better old” There is a similar one in Korea too. “Doenjang (fermented soybean paste) and people are better old.” Moreover, there is one more proverb of Uzbekistan that I want to introduce. “First time we meet, we become an acquaintance. The second time we meet, we become friends. Third time we meet, we become a family.”
Moon Jae-in, the South Korea president, is visiting Uzbekistan from April 18 to 21 to meet the Uzbekistan president Shavkat Mirziyoyev for the summit. It is the second summit between the two countries since November 2017. The two friends, according to the Uzbek proverb, are expected to meet candidly to make a considerable agreement and results.
The two countries have already reached an agreement on economic issues as Uzbek Deputy prime minister Elyor Ganiev, who visited South Korea last March, has met with Korea deputy prime minister for economic affairs Hong Nam-gi.
The meeting held included joint research related to FTA, progress and expansion of Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP), support for the establishment of an agricultural education center and a chemical institute, and support for training plant engineers.
South Korea, in particular, plans to help Korean companies participate more in infrastructure development projects in Uzbekistan.
The two presidents of Uzbekistan and Korea who will meet each other for the upcoming summit have several things in common. President Mirziyoyev is a peace-driver of Central Asia and President Moon Jae-in is a peace driver of Northeast Asia. These two presidents are the same in that they became a president as fate. President Mirziyoyev took the office as the former president Karimov passed away suddenly while president Moon got elected after the former president Park Geun-hye was impeached. In addition to it, both countries have shared the same fate of the ethnic Koryeo that has been in touch since 100 years ago.
In Uzbekistan, there are approximately eighty thousand people who had to leave Korea in order to fight against Japan for independence. Many descendants of them are eager to work in Korea in which their parents and grandparents used to live. I hope the upcoming summit will bring some solutions to this matter.
Both presidents of Korea and Uzbekistan are those who consider the communication with people as the most important priority. After president Mirziyoyev was inaugurated, he designated the next year as the year of interaction with people as well as improving human rights in an attempt to stay closer to people. President Moon has also communicated with people more than ever since he took the office. Moreover, president Moon developed a stepping stone for the peace of the Northeast Asia as well as for the peace of the world through putting a lot of efforts in talks with North Korea, which had been an obstacle to the peace of the world.
The 2018 North Korea-United States Singapore Summit is the fruit of the president Moon’s efforts, which should also be understood by the president of Uzbekistan and Uzbeks. The role that president Moon has been playing and the accomplishment of president Mirziyoyev made have something in common since president Mirziyoyev improved human rights and economy by setting free political prisoners and shutting down civilian inspecting institutions. President Mirzyoyev has played significant role in bringing peace to Central Asia by interacting with its neighbor countries such as Russia, China, Turkey, etc.
AJA highly appreciated president Mirziyoyev’s efforts and singled out him as the Man of The Year 2018. The award ceremony will take place in the late of May in Tashkent in which a lot of journalists from about twenty countries, including Dilmurod Jumaboyev, editor-in-chief of Vodiymedia.uz, our important member from Uzbekistan will attend. The upcoming summit will contribute to peace of both Uzbekistan and Korea as well as peace for the world. The two countries could be proud of this.
the founder of AJA and a publisher at AsiaNㆍMagazineN.