From 8 11 May 2007, Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess conducted a four-day official visit to the Republic of Korea, accompanied by senior officials and a delegation representing Norwegian trade and industry.
The official programme started in Seoul Tuesday 8 May:
Tuesday morning, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess visited Memorial Tower and placed a wreath on the monument commemorating the loyalty and sacrifice of soldiers fallen in service for their country.
After the wreath-laying ceremony, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess left for Cheong Wa Dae, the official residence of the President of Korea, where they met with His Excellency President ROH Moo-Hyun and First Lady, Madam KWON Yang-Sook.
KIM Dae-Jung Peace Foundation
After a tour of Gyeongbokgung palace, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were taken to the Kim Dae-Jung Peace Foundation for a meeting with former president and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mr KIM Dae-Jung and Madame LEE Hee-Ho.
Mr KIM Dae-Jung was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 in recognition of his efforts to promote peace and democracy in South-Korea and East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North-Korea in particular.
The first day of the visit was concluded with a banquet hosted by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo.
Wednesday 9 May:
In the morning, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess attended the opening of a day of business seminars focusing on areas in which it will be possible to achieve closer Norwegian-Korean cooperation.
At 11:30 His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon gave a lecture entitled Promoting Peace and Development: Norways Policy of Engagement at Korea University.
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit attended the seminar Reconciliation of work and family life – participation of women in private and public sectors. The Republic of Korea is facing great challenges as a result of low birth rates and an aging population. This seminar discussed issues such as mens and womens possibilities for combining family and work, as well as mens participation in family life and housework.
Economic growth has boosted the interest for travelling abroad, and there has been a steady rise in the number of Korean tourists visiting Norway each year. The Crown Princess attended a tourism seminar, where a number of Norwegian tourist destinations gave presentations.
Korea is rapidly becoming an important market for Norwegian salmon. The Norwegian Seafood Export Council hosted an event at New Core Kim's Mart Supermarket in Seoul, where Their Royal Highnesses were given a brief introduction to the Korean market for fish and Norwegian exports, and sampled Norwegian salmon prepared Korean style.
The days programme concluded in the evening with a concert given by Mr Stephan Barratt-Due (violin) and Ms CHUNG Soon-Mi (viola), together with 14 musicians from the Euro-Asian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Thursday 10 May: Busan
For the second half of their visit, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess travelled on to Busan. Busan is the second largest city in the Republic of Korea, with a population of 3.65 million and the worlds third largest harbour.
A day of business seminars was opened by Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Gunn Ovesen, Managing Director of Innovation Norway. The purpose of the event was to further strengthen the good relations between Norway and the Republic of Korea within the maritime sectors, and the seminars focused on Norwegian seafood, fish farming, shipbuilding and offshore installations.
United Nations Memorial Cemetery Korea
In the afternoon, Their Royal Highnesses visited the United Nations Memorial Cemetery Korea. This memorial cemetery was formally established in 1955, and serves today as the final resting place for 2,300 soldiers.
Among them is Norwegian Second Engineer Reidar George Tveit. After a brief ceremony at Tveits grave, attended by members of the family, Crown Prince Haakon laid a wreath at the new monument commemorating the Norwegian soldiers who died in the Korean War.
The visit to the memorial cemetery was concluded at the Wall of Remembrance, where the names of 40,895 non-Korean soldiers killed in the Korean War are engraved.
Friday 11 May: Busan and Ulsan
On their last day in Korea, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess visited the shipping line EUKOR in Ulsan – one of the worlds leading transporters of cars and similar cargoes. EUKOR is the exclusive carrier of cars for Hyundai and Kia Motors out of Korea.
Hyundai Heavy Industries
Later in the morning, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess visited Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) – the largest shipyard in the world. Here they had a chance to learn about the complexity of shipbuilding, and how the various elements are assembled to make the hulls.
Several Norwegian companies are sub-vendors to HHI, providing paint, engine parts and other types of advanced technical equipment.
The Norwegian community in the Busan/Ulsan area follows the national tradition of celebrating May 17th (Norwegian Constitution Day). Most of the Norwegians living in Korea reside in this area due to the maritime activity.
In the afternoon, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will attended the event, celebrated in the traditional manner with speeches, songs and games for the children. Crown Prince Haakon gave a May 17th address.