|Zofia Majka (center), wife of the Polish ambassador to South Korea, along with other wives of foreign envoys, take part in a cake-cutting ceremony at a reception celebrating Poland’s Constitution Day in Seoul on May 15. (Polish Embassy)|
Marek Sawicki, Poland’s minister of agriculture and rural development, joined the event in Seoul to commemorate Poland’s first constitution, which came into being on May 3, 1791. The constitution was also the first in Europe and second in the world, after the United States constitution which was ratified in 1787.
Poland-Korea relations were upgraded to a “strategic partnership” when President Park Geun-hye met Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski last year on Oct. 22 during his visit to Seoul.
But the relationship has a much longer history, which Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Tae-yul underscored in his welcome remarks during the reception.
“Poland made great contributions to the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula for the past 60 years as a member of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC),” Cho said.
Polish Ambassador Majka said that the constitution helped inform the essence of Polish identity, guiding his country through wars, social turbulence, and 123 years in which Poland was wiped off the map. The ambassador also lauded the Polish economy during the reception.
“Polish exports have increased tenfold. During the last 10 years alone, Poland’s GDP skyrocketed, increasing by nearly 50 percent. From 2008-2013, during the depth of the global financial crisis, our economy grew by 20 percent, by far the best result in the European Union,” Majka said.