I -Paraguay's long support to South Korea in the U.N.
1. Before the War of Korea, Paraguay expressed its support to the creation of the Temporary U.N. Commission (1947), in order to facilitate and accelerate the participation of the Korean people in the process of independence of Korea through free elections.
2. Paraguay voted in favor of three U.N. Assembly General Resolutions (in 1947 Res. 112.II, 1948, Res. 195.III and 1949, Res. 293.IV), concerning the unification process in the peninsula.
3. One of the main reasons for Paraguay to open a Permanent Delegation to the U.N. in New York, in 1950, was to express our unwavering support to United Nations' proposals on South Korea, especially during and after Korea's War. The division of the Korea peninsula was one of the biggest issues of the post world war II and the first to be solved by the novel organization.
4. During the first years, Latin American Group consisted of 20 out of 51 members of the United Nations.
5. Paraguay, as many other countries, decided in the 50's, to side with the United States in the cold war period.
6. Paraguay offered its assistance to the U.N. Unified Command, on July 24, 1950, but did not integrate it.
7. During the war, on November 3, 1950, Paraguay decided to contribute with an amount of ten thousand American dollars, to the U.N. Unified Command, in order to buy medicines and other sanitary good for the combating forces. This amount was paid in April 10, 1951.
8. In 1953 an amount of 90 millions dollars were collected and promised contributions reached 200 millions dollars.
9. This contribution was the first ever made by Paraguay in the United Nations.
10. Paraguay gave unconditional support to occident, under American leadership, in the case of the Korea peninsula.
11. Paraguay always expressed its strong anti-communism stance during the conflict of Korea.
12. After the conflict, Paraguay continued its support to the position defended by the occident, rejecting systematically communist proposals (years 54, res. 906 IX; 57, res. 1180 XII; 58, 1264 XII; 59, 1455 XIV, and 61, 1740 XVI), but all these resolutions were unable to bring about unification in the Korea peninsula.
13. Finally, in the period 1962-1972, Paraguay again supported the participation of South Korea Delegates in U.N. works, with voice but without vote, recognizing southern delegates as the unique representative of the Korean people.
14. To summarize: both Paraguay and Korea based their first phase of relationship through the United Nations and their foreign policy on anti- communism.
15. Establishment of diplomatic relations: With this background, Paraguay and Korea established diplomatic relations on June 15, 1962.
16. The same year 14 other countries from Latin America and the Caribbean established diplomatic relations with Korea (Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina, Colombia, Honduras, Rep. Dominican, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti, Panama, Ecuador, Jamaica and Guatemala).
- It's a process that comprised almost three decades and its main characteristics are:
- Still based on anti-communism,
- Broader bilateral agenda such as immigration and trade,
- Signing of the first bilateral agreement
- Opening of Embassies offices in Asuncion and Seoul
- Some facts of this period are:
a) International emigration: under the "Overseas Emigration Act", in 1962. Around 100.000 Koreans immigrants and their descendants are now living in Latin America.
b) Paraguay received an estimated amount of 10 to 20 thousand Koreans in the late sixties and the seventies, and this amount constitute the third mayor emigration to South America.
c) In the economic field, Korea led-export economy and Paraguay import policy significantly increased trade between two countries in the 70's and 80's.
d) In addition, to give more importance to their relationship, Paraguay and Korea started to celebrate their first bilateral agreements. (See agreements).
e) Since the 70's Korea's economy grew rapidly while developing export market diversification.
f) Korea's trade balance became positive with Latin America region in 1977.
g) On January 10, 1963, Ambassador Jun Il-kwan, resident in Washington, presented his credential to the Paraguayan Government. Korean Embassy in Asuncion was open on March 21, 1976.
h) On July 1969, Paraguayan Ambassador Nicolas de Bari Flecha, resident in Tokyo, presented his credential to the Korean Government.
III- Relationship in the 90's: challenges to the traditional pillars.
- The significant facts of this period are:
- End of the Cold war, and liberation from authoritarian rule.
- Promotion of democracy, mutual trade and cooperation become main issues of the bilateral agenda
- Extraordinary increase of commerce, with great trade surplus in favor of Korea
- Access of South and North Korea to the U.N. (1991)
- Creation the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA-1991)
- Signing second generation of bilateral agreements.
- Creation of MERCOSUR in 1991 by the Treaty of Asuncion. There has been an annual consultative and cooperation meeting Mercosur-Korea. In 2002, the first cooperation project was adopted.
- Korean Migration to Paraguay almost stopped. Many Korean families re-emigrated to U.S. or went back to Korea.
- The presence of the Korean community in Paraguay didn't attract Korean investment since the emigration to Paraguay was no planned or organized by their authorities.
- Koica's cooperation activities in Paraguay from 1998-2001 totalized 1.566.744 US$. That amount includes: Projects, volunteers, send of experts, etc.
- Two Paraguayan Presidents: Andres Rodriguez and Juan Carlos Wasmosy visited Korea in 1990 and 1996 respectively. The highest Korean personality who visited Paraguay was the President of the National Assembly Mr. Lee Man-Sup, in January 2000.
IV- Challenges of the New Century:
- Paraguay's main objectives and priorities of its foreign policy are:
- 1. To develop an economic policy in order to assure its insertion in the commercial and trade scenery, and to strengthen its capacity to have access in new external markets, aiming at the national economic development and the improvement of the competitiveness.
- 2. To strengthen democracy as well as regional and hemispheric process of integration and political and economic cooperation.
- 3. To develop a policy of "plug in-world connection" directed to attract foreign financial and technical cooperation, in order to assure the amelioration of the national infrastructure in energy, transport, communication and IT technologies.
- 4. To stimulate public and privates' initiatives oriented to the promotion of education and alleviation of poverty.
- 5. To contribute in the process to reach a safe, equitable and pacific world, with emphasis in sustainability.
- 6. To promote dialogue, consultation and consensus with civil society organizations in the process of designing a national foreign policy.
- Concerning our national priorities, we are concentrating our efforts in the following three areas:
- A) Integration process,
- B) Bilateral relations
- C) Multilateral relations.

        In the chapter of the bilateral relations, our priorities in the Asia-Pacific region are:

To complete an exhaustive and integral policy toward Asia-Pacific region (in which we have opened Embassies in only three countries: Japan, South Korea and Taiwan).
Predominantly, regarding these three countries, until now we have been still focusing on obtaining technical cooperation for development. After 40 years of mutual friendship, we must broaden the fields of our relations.
Today, we should put more emphasis on economic and financial cooperation and try to establish a partnership with these cutting-edge technology countries.
It is essential to reduce digital divide between Paraguay and Korea. Korea's IT technology can be applied to increase Paraguay's education quality level, as well as tool to assure our more active participation in internet-based commerce.
We must develop national projects with the participation of world-class Asian (Korean) companies. Paraguay, as many other Latin American countries, has plenty of natural resources waiting to be developed but at the same time has one of the weakest infrastructure systems in the region.
As bilateral trade is still insufficient and having in mind that Asia-Pacific region is one of the most promising markets with highest economic growth rate in the world, we visualize this region as a vast space to expand our commerce, to gain more access to the Korean market for our (agricultural) products, and to create new opportunities for mutual investment projects.
We must insist in deepening academic and cultural exchanges aiming at widening mutual comprehension and understanding.
We must develop new initiatives to integrate in a more positive way Korean immigrants living in Paraguay to our economic development process. Until now Paraguay have received hundred of thousand of foreign immigrants, most of them gave decisive contribution to our progress. Korean colony has a great potential to increase its participation in our economy, maybe with the assistance of Korean government.