Slovaks celebrate country's 9 years

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Slovaks celebrate country's 9 years

The diplomatic community descended on the Shilla Hotel recently for a luncheon to mark the Slovak Republic's National Day holiday.

The event, organized by the Slovak Embassy, also honored the Slovak ambassador, Peter Sopko, who is leaving Korea after serving almost four years here.

About 200 people attended, including the honorary consul, Hah Sung-hee, who traveled from Busan to join the celebrations.

Mr. Sopko raised a toast to Slovakia, Korea and his term here, recalling historic high points such as talks between North and South Korea and World Cup celebrations. He later added that "in the name of sports, the Slovak people will be interested in visiting your beautiful country."

The Slovak Republic was founded on Sept. 1, 1993, after the breakup of the former Czechoslovakia into the Slovak and Czech Republics. Korea and Slovakia established trade relations soon afterward. Trade between the two countries exceeded $45 million last year, with Korean auto exports accounting for 15 percent of the figure.

Mr. Sopko will return to Slovakia on Friday. His replacement is due to arrive soon.

by Joe Yong-hee, Inēs Cho

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