November 17, 2010 10:50
The Foreign Ministry plans to create an association aimed at bolstering friendship and cooperation with China. The move comes on top of a decision to expand the China department in the ministry as part of its efforts to strengthen diplomacy with the Asian power.
The association, which will consist of both public servants and civilians, is to help organize Korean investment in China. The ministry is currently discussing the matter with the Office of the Prime Minister.
The ministry will add another Chinese affairs department next year in addition to the present one.
It plans to establish an analytical team within the new department and publish regular reports on China's domestic situation and its external relations. Another team could be put in charge of responding to anti-Korean sentiment in China, which is spreading online. The ministry will also open a China research center at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, its own think tank.
The ministry was given a budget of W390 million (US$1=W1,132) this year for diplomacy with China and is negotiating a 10-fold increase to W3.89 billion next year with the National Assembly.
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