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SEOUL – Vice President of Sogang University awarded by Speaker of the Czech Senate

Vice President of Sogang University and the founding-father of university´s „HK Research Project Team on Eastern Europe“, Professor Lee Kyu Young, was awarded the Medal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic for his contribution to Czech-Korean relations.

The Medal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for important personalities who significantly aided mutual understanding between the Czech Republic and the Republic of Korea and helped development of the relations between both countries and people was presented by Hon. Milan Štěch, Speaker of the Senate, upper chamber of Parliament of the Czech Republic, who visited Seoul on an official visit, the very first  such visit to the Republic of Korea. Prof. Lee accepted this honour during the reception hosted by Ambassador of the Czech Republic H.E. Mr. Jaroslav Olša, jr. on November 16, 2011.

The medal for Prof. Lee is not a suprise, as he is a foremost expert on history and politics of Central and Eastern Europe and published widely on the topic. The Sogang University HK Research Project Team on Eastern Europe was established by him in 2009 with an aim to become the top research think tank studying and explaining to the Korean public the part of Europe, which – due to historical fate – was closed to Koreans until the fall of communism in 1989. Although more than two decades passed since, not much has been published in Korea on Central Europe, therefore the team has embarked on publishing books covering region´s history and politics, the very first volume being 간추린 체코 역사 이야기 (A Brief History of the Czech Lands, 2011) to be followed by a similar book on history of Hungary.

There is already a decade-long tradition of bestowing such honours by Ambassadors of the Czech Republic to distinguished Korean and foreign individuals, who significantly promoted the Czech-Korean ties in various fields. In recent years the medal was awarded  a.o. to famous Korean award-winning actress Jeon Do-Yeon and her film partner Kim Juhyeok for their main roles in Korean TV drama Lovers in Prague (Prahaeui yeonin, 2005), deputy director of Busan International Film Festival Jay Jeon (Jeon Yang Jun),  the first Korean Ambassador to Prague Sun Jun-young, founding-fathers of Czech-language studies and translators professors Kim Kyuchin, Kwon Jae-il and Kim Kyung-Ock of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and a nestor of Czech Korean studies Vladimír Pucek, as well as a foremost expert on Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, Choi Young-chul of Seouloratorio and Tai H. Ham, founder and CEO of Castle Praha Corp., Czech-themed Korean restaurants and beerhouses.