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Professor to receive diplomatic award for efforts to promote Korea's image abroad

All News 11:19 July 04, 2018

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- Choi Jung-wha, the president of the nonprofit Corea Image Communications Institute (CICI), will receive a prestigious award on Wednesday for her longtime dedication to enhancing South Korea's image abroad, the institute said.

The Seoul Forum for International Affairs, a nonprofit entity aimed at enhancing the international community's understanding of Korea, is set to confer the annual Yeongsan Diplomat Award on Choi, a pioneer and practitioner of "culture communication," a novel realm of global communication.

The award ceremony will be held at the Plaza Hotel Seoul at 6:30 p.m. It is to be attended by dignitaries, such as Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and foreign ambassadors, including Yasumasa Nagamine of Japan, Fabien Penone of France, Simon Smith of Britain and Yip Wei Kiat of Singapore.

Every year, the Seoul Forum picks one recipient for the government and one for the civilian sectors to recognize his or her diplomatic efforts to improve Korea's national interests and image. Last year, Lee Soo-man, founder and CEO of K-pop behemoth S.M. Entertainment, received the award for the civilian category.

"When it comes to promoting Korea's image, efforts should be made on two tracks: improving our shortcomings and effectively promoting what we are good at," Choi, 62, told Yonhap News Agency.

"For the first track, I have been organizing culture communication forums and writing books on global etiquette. I will continue such endeavors," she added.

Choi is a renowned international conference interpreter who has served for five former presidents, including Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung. Since 1988, she has taught translation and interpretation in French, Korean and English at her alma mater, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, in Seoul.

The professor founded the CICI in 2003 to promote Korea abroad. She has since spearheaded a number of projects, including organizing culture communication forums and networking events, and launching an annual award for Koreans who have contributed to enhancing the country's international profile.

In 2003, Choi garnered the highest honor given by the French government, Legion d'Honneur. She has authored dozens of books, including some in English and French, as part of efforts to introduce Korean culture and lifestyle to foreigners.

Choi previously served as part of the presidential committees on national image and branding.


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