|Peruvian Ambassador to South Korea Jaime Pomareda (left) poses for a group photo after a friendly soccer match between the national teams of Peru and South Korea at Suwon World Cup Stadium on Wednesday. (Peruvian Embassy)|
Foreign diplomatic missions here use public diplomacy as one way to engender popular support in South Korea ― more is always better than less. That is why even soccer makes up part of an ambassador’s foreign policy tool kit.
That is what Peru’s top diplomat here aimed for in taking part in the Peru-South Korea friendly soccer match on Wednesday.
Peruvian Ambassador to South Korea Jaime Pomareda awarded a trophy to the captains of both national soccer teams, South Korean and Peru, after a friendly match on Wednesday. The dedication inscribed on the trophy says it all: “Cup 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Peru and South Korea.”
|The dedication inscribed on the winners’ trophy says: “Cup 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Peru and South Korea,” underscoring the bilateral relationship between the two countries. (Peruvian Embassy)|
“The friendly soccer match between the national teams of Peru and Korea are part of what is called public diplomacy, Pomareda said. “What we are looking for is to be presented to the common citizens as a part of their daily life, showing them aspects of our country which are closer to them than the political or economical ones.”
As though bilateral relations may well depend on the games outcome, South Korea and Peru played to a scoreless draw in their friendly football match on at Suwon World Cup Stadium, about 45 kilometers south of Seoul, Wednesday night.
“This soccer match promoted bilateral relations between Peru and Korea since the moment when the citizens of both countries started asking about each other, their players, their national anthems, their way of supporting the teams and, of course, their customs,” Pomareda said.
“Peruvian and Korean Nationals learned more about each others’ countries than through traditional diplomacy would not have been able to do to teach them. This is the art of public diplomacy, and its importance: It deals directly with the people.”
Relations between the two countries have flourished recently. Peru and South Korea signed a free trade agreement in March 2011. The two nations inked a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2012 and this year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties which started in April 1963.