Asia Society Korea 10th anniversary

Sept 19, 2017 – After a long-anticipated wait, Asia Society Korea got its 10th anniversary celebrations underway by hosting a Kickoff Gala at Lotte Hotel Seoul on Tuesday evening. Lotte Group Chairman, Shin Dong-bin, welcomed more than 300 dignitaries, members of the diplomatic community, and Asia Society family to the fundraising dinner to celebrate ten years of building bridges between Korea, the United States, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Following Chairman Shin’s welcoming message, congratulatory remarks were given by H.E. Sung-nam Lim, First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and Mr. Edwin Sagurton, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, U.S. Embassy Seoul. Both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S Embassy have played an important and valuable role in supporting Asia Society Korea since its inauguration ceremony in April 2008. 

The keynote speech for the evening was given by Charles Rockefeller, Asia Society Global Trustee and grandson of Asia Society founder, John D. Rockefeller III. Mr. Rockefeller spoke of the need for dialogue and collaboration between the United States and Korea at a time when tensions in the region are at an all-time high. The two countries have enjoyed 67 years of friendship and it is vitally important that the current situation does not affect this is in any way, undoing years of alliance and cooperation.

A poignant moment in the evening was the special tribute to the late H.E. Hong-joo Hyun by H.E. Hong-koo Lee, Honorary Chairman of Asia Society Korea. Hong-joo Hyun was a Global Council member at Asia Society, a former Ambassador to the United States, and a Korean Ambassador at the Permanent Observer Mission to the UN. He will be remembered for his role in ensuring Korea's membership to the United Nations in the early 1990's and for his lifelong efforts promoting Korea around the world.

Former Secretary General to the United Nations, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, was in attendance to give a special address where he talked about the North Korean issue, environmental and sustainability challenges, the importance of the Paris climate accord, and the need to strengthen and improve human rights around the world.

The event also included the ceremony for this year’s Ambassador of the Year awards which were presented to H.E. Vikram Doraiswami, Ambassador of India; H.E. Bader Mohammad al-Awadi, Ambassador of Kuwait; and H.E. Ramzi Teymurov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan for their dedication and commitment to the Korea Center. The awards were presented by H.E. Sung-joo Han & Mr. Young Joon Kim, Board Members at Asia Society Korea.

One of the highlights of the evening was the live performance by traditional Korean folk singer Song So-hee, who opened with a fantastic rendition of the song Arirang. Following the entertainment, Mistress of Ceremonies Yvonne Yoon-Hee Kim, Executive Director at Asia Society Korea, and Dr. John Delury, Senior Fellow at the Asia Society Center for U.S.-China Relations led an auction. Among the items up for auction were cigars courtesy of H.E. Bader al-Awadi, Embassy of Kuwait; a carpet courtesy of H.E. Ramzi Teymurov, Embassy of Azerbaijan; a pashmina shawl courtesy of H.E. Vikram Doraiswami, Embassy of India; and wine courtesy of H.E. James Choi, Embassy of Australia.

Young Joon Kim, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Jungwook Hong, Herald Corporation
East Asia Foundation
The Federation of Korean Industries
Korean Air
Lotte Group
Samjong KPMG
Yulchon LLP
Asia 21 Korea Chapter

Haelyung Hwang, Lutronic
Bradley Buckwalter, Johnson Controls Korea
Kumjoo Huh, Kyobo Life Insurance
Bae, Kim & Lee LLC
EY Han Young
Kim & Chang
Lee & Ko
Lotte Chemical

Mark Tetto
No Min Jun

Embassy of Australia
Embassy of Azerbaijan
Embassy of Colombia
Embassy of the Dominican Republic
Embassy of the State of Kuwait
Embassy of India
Embassy of New Zealand
Embassy of the Philippines
Embassy of Sri Lanka
Embassy of Turkey

Almas Caviar
KNC Pictures
Lotte Hotel Seoul
SM Entertainment
Oyori Asia