"The Future of Korea-US Relations" by Ambassador Park Suk-Bum, Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Houston

Free and open to the public

Wed, January 22, 2014 | Meyerson Conference Room, WCH 4.118

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Ambassador Suk-bum Park

Consul General

Consulate General of the Republic of Korea

Suk-bum Park is the current Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Houston. As Consul General, Park is responsible for promoting the relationship between Korea and Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas, including promoting trade, cultural awareness, and exchange programs.

Prior to serving as Consul General, Park represented Korea in his capacity as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Iraq. During his term as Ambassador, Park played a key role in developing Korea-Iraq relations; leading initiatives to develop Korean investment in many important areas, particularly in the energy sector. Through his leadership, Korean companies now hold a major role in the reconstruction and redevelopment of Iraq. He also successfully brought during his term, Prime Minister al-Maliki to Korea, a bold initiative to further cement the strong ties between the two nations.

Before assuming the role of Ambassador to Iraq, Park also served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. As Ambassador to Bangladesh, Park promoted Korean expansion into the nation of over 150 million people, championing efforts to realize the importance of emerging markets. 

In addition to his role as Ambassador, Park previously served as Director-General of International Economic Affairs for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In his capacity as Director-General, Park served as a key member of the negotiating team for the historic Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. More specifically, Park served as the chief negotiator for environmental and labor chapters. Due in part to his efforts, successful negotiations led to the signing of the Agreement in April 2007. The agreement was recently ratified after years of political debate by both nations’ legislative branches and successfully entered into law.

Preceding his term as Director-General, Park served as Deputy Chief of Mission to the Korean Embassy in the Kingdom of Belgium as well as the Korean Mission to the European Union. In this role, Park effectively resolved important several major trade disputes between Korea and the E.U. including a major anti-dumping case against key Korean-made products like semiconductors, refrigerators and steel pipes.

Prior to that, Park served as Deputy Director-General at the International Economic Affairs Bureau. In his role as Deputy Director-General, Park led a team of negotiators to reach an agreement between major OECD nations to institute reforms and regulations in the shipbuilding industry needed as a result of the worldwide recession and overproduction. In part due to his efforts, the reforms helped in stabilizing the world market for shipbuilding. In addition, due to the need to address environmental degradation and overfishing of native tuna populations, Park engineered an agreement between major fishing nations to establish a fishery convention which would be used to regulate deep-sea tuna fishing in the West and Central Pacific regions.  

A native of Seoul, Park holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Korea University in Seoul. He also holds a Diplome in International Political Science from the International Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) in Paris, France.  Park is married with two sons.

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