Forum on the future of US-Korea relations
Cohosted with the International Cultural Center
When: 3:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. March 27, 2014
What: Future of U.S-Korea relations.
Ambassador Suk-bum Park. Consul-General
Consulate General of the Republic of Korea
Amb. Park is the current Consul-General of the Republic of Korea in Houston. As Consul-General, he is responsible for promoting the relationship between Korea and five southern states in the United States including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.
Prior to serving as Consul-General, Amb. Park was posted in Iraq as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Iraq from April 2010 to February 2012. During his term, he played a key role in developing Korea-Iraq relations; taking initiatives to expand Korean presence 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.
Prior to that, Amb. Park served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh (April 2007-February 2010). During his term, he promoted, among others, Korean expansion into the nation of over 150 million people, championing efforts to realize the importance of one of the largest emerging markets.
Amb. Park previously served as Director-General of International Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea. In this capacity he served as a key member of the negotiating team for the historic Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. More specifically, he 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 successfully entered into law as of March 15, 2012. Furthermore, during his time as Director-General, he brought remarkable innovation in Korea’s Development Corporation activities, taking initiative in legislating Poverty Alleviation Levy of 1 U.S. Dollar for each air travel passenger departing from Korea.
Preceding that, he 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, he effectively resolved several trade disputes between Korea and the E.U. over key Korean-made export items like semiconductors, refrigerators and steel pipes.
Amb. Park has also led Korea’s government delegation through a number of international negotiations including a negotiation between major OECD nations to institute reforms and regulations in the world’s shipbuilding industry and a negotiation between major fishery nations to establish a Fisheries Convention regulating tuna fishing in the West and Central Pacific regions.
A native of Seoul, Ambassador 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. He is married with two sons.