Park Noh Wan came to know about Vietnam and its Ao dai (traditional long dress worn by Vietnamese women) when he was a 5th grader in RoK 42 years ago. During a lesson, his teacher played the organ and sang a Vietnamese song featuring a Vietnamese girl in Ao dai. He was so impressed by the image that he decided to study Vietnamese at the Vietnamese Department of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
Park Noh Wan delivers a speech at the doctoral degree commencement ceremony. Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP
|Consul General Park Noh Wan is the first official of the Republic of Korea to receive a doctoral degree from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and also the first foreigner to successfully defend his doctoral thesis on International Relations at Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.|
He set foot in Vietnam for the first time as the consul and the second Secretary at the embassy of RoK in Vietnam from 1995-1997. For him, Vietnam is his second home so he has done his utmost to strive for a stronger relationship between the two countries. He said that the task that diplomats like him must fulfill is to build trust between the two nations.
Besides his love for Vietnam, there was another reason that impacted him to study for his doctorate in Vietnam. “During my diplomatic term in France, my wife told me that since I had 12 years before retirement, I should decide on a specialty to focus on. She told me that it was better for me to study in Vietnam. I followed her advice,” said the Consul General.
It was really a big challenge for Park Noh Wan to both study and work at the same time. As relations between the two countries grow, diplomats like him find their daily workload rapidly increasing. He spent most of his nights and weekends writing the thesis. However, since the topic of the countries’ relationship is quite familiar to him, he did not find the thesis hard to complete. With whole-hearted and enthusiastic instruction from his Vietnamese advisor and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, he successfully defended his thesis which was highly appreciated. Dr. Dang Dinh Quy, President of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam said: “Park’s doctorial thesis significantly contributes to boosting bilateral cooperation ties between RoK and Vietnam”.
“I am delighted to receive this honour. The day I was granted the certificate, I felt like I got married to Vietnam for the second time. I have been in love with the country for years and always respect Vietnamese people,” said Pak Noh Wan.
His research project entitled “Vietnam-RoK Strategic Cooperation Partnership and the Prospects for Change in the Context of Global Governance in the 21st Century” analyses the relationship between the two nations in different aspects since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992 and discusses its future prospects.