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SEOUL – Czech Koreanist Vladimír Pucek bestowed with the Order of Cultural Merit of the Republic of Korea

The first citizen of the Czech Republic was bestowed with a state order of the Republic of Korea. On the occasion of the 565th Hangeul Day, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea presented the Order of Cultural Merit to Vladimír Pucek, nestor of Czechoslovak and Czech Korean studies for his life-long dedication to Korean language.

Vladimír Pucek started studying Korean in 1953, and taught Korean at Charles University, Prague from the 1960s until today, in between 1972 and 2004, Pucek was the head of Charles University´s Korean chair. He also wrote numerous books on Korean language and literature. Mr. Pucek was already awarded other decorations – among other Honorary Citizenship of the City of Seoul, Medal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic etc.

The Order of Cultural Merit (문화훈장) is one of the Republic of Korea´s Orders of Merit. It is awarded to those who have rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of improving the national welfare. Mr. Vladimír Pucek was bestowed with this order during the celebration at Sejeongjeori in Gyeongbokgung in Seoul on October 9, 2011. The other recipient of this Order issued by H. E. Mr. Lee Myung-bak, the President of the Republic of Korea, was Mr. Nam Gi-sim, former chairman of the Korean Language Deliberation Council, who simplified the Korean grammar system taught at public schools in the 1960s. While serving as the director of the National Institute of the Korean Language, he helped establish the Korean Language Basic Law to make Korean language policies and pushed forward a joint research program on regional language differences between the Republic of Korea and Democratic People´s Republic of Korea.



Mr. Vladimír Pucek with Czech Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Jaroslav Olša, jr. and Ms. Ivana Smutná, Czech Koreanist, at Academy of Korean Studies in Bundang shortly after the awarding ceremony

Photo: Tomáš Prášek