Russia is truly immense
Lee Kyu Hyung
Diplomats never stay for long in one country. In February, it was our time to say goodbye to VIP-Premier’s friend Lee Kyu Hyung, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Russia. The South Korean diplomat was a guest of the magazine’s Editorial Board and had more than one meeting with its President Yevgeny Kosov. Verses by the poet and diplomat were printed in VIP-Premier. Heads of diplomatic missions at the end of their Russian posting are normally waited at home by appointment to high-ranking posts. The Editorial Board sincerely wishes Mr. Lee Kyu Hyung every success and bright achievements in his new position. Our wishes of further poetic triumphs also go to this talented person. Below follow excerpts from his farewell letter to the editorial staff and President of the magazine Yevgeny Kosov.
Lee Kyu Hyung (born in 1951) was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Russia from July 2007 to February 2010. He graduated from the department for international relations of the Seoul National University. Since 1974 he is with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs working in the Republic of Korea’s embassies in the United Nations, the Central African Republic, Japan and China. He was the Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh and held a number of ranking positions in the ministry. From 2005 to 2007, he was deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Decorated with South Korea’s “Order of Merit.” Married with a daughter and a son. Hobbies: poetry, singing, classical music.
LOVE, ROMANCE, HISTORY
.…I’m proud of what we achieved together. Of special value is that we (the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea – Ed.) are developing our relations as strategic partners.
…During the years of my stay in Russia I’ve got unforgettable impressions. This winter I finally realized what a true Russian snowy winter is. Otherwise, when I return home I would be able to tell nothing about Russian colds. Now, poet’s cry of admiration “Frost and the sun, what a wonderful day!” expresses my feelings as well. Walking along the lanes of Yasnaya Polyana, where (Leo) Tolstoy used to walk, I tried to imagine the way of thinking of this great author. In a classroom of the Kazan University it was as if I felt the presence of the young student Lenin. In the Volkonsky House in Irkutsk, admiring portraits of young beautiful women, Decembrists wives, I felt the great power of love.
…Russia is truly immense. During this time I’ve visited 16 Russian cities: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Yakutsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhni Novgorod, Rostov-on-the-Don, Sochi, and St. Petersburg among them. Every city is proud of its history and culture. People are kind and friendly. In one way or another, everybody expressed the will to strengthen and broaden friendship and cooperation with the Republic of Korea. Being the ambassador of the Republic of Korea, I was really touched and inspired. Those visits added to my determination and a better understanding of my mission.
…Memories embrace me. They enriched my soul. Love, romance and history are entwined in them. Those were the most priceless moments, and they are still in my soul often making me give a great deal of thought to life values. I’m returning home keeping all this in my soul. I’m leaving my already familiar Moscow with the heart filled with deep gratitude and warm memories. Leaving my dear Moscow I’m positive that the extensive cooperation between Korea and Russia will continue.
…I’m grateful to all of you as I’m completing my mission in Russia with such joy in my heart. And not simply because “What will pass will be gladness!” but because after years of living in Russia I’ve got a deep understanding of a famous line (by the poet Fyodor) Tyutchev: “Russia is a thing of which the intellect cannot conceive. … In Russia you believe!” I depart but I stay with you with all my soul. Wherever I will be, together with you I will spare no efforts to ensure that our countries complement each other as true partners. Once again, I’m strengthening the resolve of my heart. In the future, wherever I will be I will be anticipating the joy of a new meeting with you at which we can open our hearts to each other.
Sincerely and forever yours,
Lee Kyu Hyung