State Banquet, President of the Republic of Korea, 1 December 2004
Published 01 December 2004
I was struck by the spirit of the Korean people, and their determination to overcome adversity
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to welcome you, Mr. President, and Mrs Roh to London today.
Prince Philip and I were very pleased to visit the Republic of Korea five years ago, and recall with much satisfaction the warmth of the reception we received from Korean people wherever we went. It is a great pleasure to be able to return some of that hospitality tonight.
During our visit in 1999, we were able to witness the remarkable recovery your country was making after the crisis which had had such a devastating impact on economies across the region two years earlier. I was struck by the spirit of the Korean people, and their determination to overcome adversity. We have seen how that determination has paid dividends, taking the Republic of Korea to its position as one of the world's leading economies. The Korean people are right to be proud of this achievement.
At the start of my own reign, the Korean War was still being fought. We remember all those who died during that terrible conflict, which ended with the division of the Korean peninsula.
Sadly, more than fifty years on, the peninsula remains divided, generations of families remain separated, and lasting peace remains elusive. Mr. President, I look forward to the day when the Korean people are once again united in peace, and the entire peninsula is able to prosper for the benefit of its citizens.
We recognise the difficulties in reaching that destiny. There are many obstacles to be overcome, but that same determination and positive spirit will ensure that Korea is well equipped to meet the challenges which lie ahead. You will also have the support of many international friends, including the United Kingdom.
The bilateral relationship between our countries, formally dating back one hundred and twenty years, is now stronger and more varied than ever, as our exchange of State Visits reflects. In particular, our countries have developed a prosperous economic relationship, which has seen major investment in both directions, as well as important and growing links in the areas of science and technology.
We have embarked on joint research and development projects, and continue to co-operate in many other fields. We also welcome the many thousands of students from Korea who choose to study in the United Kingdom each year, and the increasing cultural exchanges between our two countries.
The partnership between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea extends also to addressing international issues of concern. The contribution of Korean troops to reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the active role which Korea plays in global affairs, has earned your country great respect. We share many principles on those issues, and we see your country as a true friend and ally.
Mr. President, Mrs. Roh, I warmly welcome you both to this country.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask you all to raise your glasses to:
The President and the people of the Republic of Korea.
A message from Her Majesty The Queen on the 75th anniversary of VJ day
May the memory of their sacrifice and bravery remain with us always.
The 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings
The Queen's speech at the commissioning ceremony of HMS Queen Elizabeth
HMS Queen Elizabeth embodies the best of British technology and innovation – a true flagship for the 21st century
Prince Harry delivers a message from The Queen at RAF Honnington
The presentation of Colours is an opportunity to recognise historic achievements and to look forward to the future with confidence; a confidence built upon the dedication of...
The Queen's speech at the Spanish State Banquet
This State Visit is an expression of the deep respect and friendship that describes relations between Spain and the United Kingdom
The Queen addresses The Royal Lancers at Windsor Castle
You have established yourselves as a unified Regiment and a force without match
The Queen’s Speech at the State Banquet in honour of the President of the Republic of Colombia
I am sure of a shared, bright future for both of our countries as long-standing allies working together towards global peace and prosperity
The Queen's Response to the Chief Engineer, on the Corps of Royal Engineers 300th anniversary
I would wish all Sappers, wherever they may be, every success and good fortune in the future
A speech by The Queen in Nova Scotia, 2010
Canadians have, by their own endeavours, built a country and society which is widely-admired across the world.
A speech by The Queen at the Royal Artillery Tercentenary Parade on 26th May, 2016
The Royal Regiment of Artillery has since 1716 proudly served the Nation all over the World and I wish all Gunners every success and good fortune in the future
What is a State Visit?
A speech by The Queen at the Irish State Banquet, 2011
No-one who looked to the future over the past centuries could have imagined the strength of the bonds that are now in place between the governments and the people of our two...
Original announcement of a State Visit by the King and Queen of Spain
A speech by The Queen at the China State Banquet, 2015
We celebrate the ties between our two countries and prepare to take them to ambitious new heights.