Cuba invites officials here to int’l event

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Cuba invites officials here to int’l event

The Cuban government for the first time has extended an invitation to Korean officials to an official event in Havana, according to a source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.

The ministry official said Monday that the Cuban government had invited Korean officials to its annual International Book Fair, a weeklong affair that begins Thursday in the capital city, where Korean literature and poetry will be on display.

Moon Chung-hee, who heads the Society of Korean Poets, and awarding-winning novelist Oh Jung-hee are scheduled to visit Havana with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to introduce Korean literature there.

They will take with them some 100 literary works from Korea, including classical and contemporary pieces translated into Spanish. Cuba is one of four countries with which South Korea has yet to establish diplomatic ties. The others are Syria, Macedonia and Kosovo. Havana’s International Book Fair has been held since 1982, the largest annual event in the country. Each year, it sees more than 2.5 million visitors and sells over 1.5 million books.

The Barack Obama administration announced on Dec. 17 that the United States and Cuba would restore diplomatic ties, which were severed in 1961.

The invitation of Seoul officials to the state-sponsored book fair can indicate that Korea and Cuba may also consider establishing ties in the near future. The two nations have had a series of successful cultural exchanges in recent years, which includes the 2013 Cuba Culture Festival.

BY YOO JEE-HYE, SARAH KIM [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]




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