Overview of Norwegian tourism and culture – what would you recommend to visit & experience to Norway?
It depends on your time schedule and interest, but for many people, the capital city of Oslo will be the gateway to Norway. I would therefore recommend you to visit this beautiful and exciting city. It closely linked to the water and has developed into an modern and cool city with a focus on architecture and design, not least the new waterfront areas with our Opera House. You can explore the Vigeland Park and the Munch Museum, visit Holmenkollen ski jump and the famous Viking Ship museum. Then I would claim that the Norwegian West Coast with Bergen and the fjords is a must when visiting Norway. The deep fjords with green mountains are perhaps the most famous attractions in Norway, and a experience tourists never will forget. You can enjoy the magnificent coastline in Northern Norway and the Lofoten islands, perhaps with the coastal cruise liner Hurtigruten. In summer you will experience the Midnight Sun and in the winter the Northern Light, the Aurora Borealis, will leave you with an everlasting impression. And if you have more time, you can visit the Svalbard islands close to the North Pole or visit southern Norway and world’s first underwater restaurant ‘Under’. I am sure Norway can offer you an unforgettable experience.
What is your impression of Korea during so far?
I have been Ambassador to Korea since July 2018, and feel very priviliged to work in such an interesting and beautiful country. It is a very dynamic society, and with our wide area of cooperation, I regard it as one of the most interesting places to live. People are extremely helpful and positive, and I feel very lucky to get to know both the country, its people and a very interesting history and culture. It is also very interesting to see the impact modern Korean culture has on the global society, not least within music, film and drama. Actually I have a couple of K-pop favorites – GiantPink and Monsta X, and as a soccer fan I’m also very impressed with Son Heung- Min. And I should of course not forget the wonderful Korean food – with kimpap as one of my favorites.
What is your favorite Korean destination?
I have had the privilege to travel around and visit quite a few places in this beautiful country, and this is a difficult question. There are many places to choose from both along the coast and inland, but I really enjoy the Southern Coastline and not least the island of Yeosu. I also love to go hiking in the Bukhansan mountains and enjoy the wonderful view of metropolitan Seoul from the top of the mountain. It is an impressive sight!
Can you explain about the cooperation between Norway and Korea in the future?
The cooperation between our two countries covers many areas, not only in politically but also economically and culturally. Ever since the Korean War we have developed very close ties and a strong friendship, as Norway participated as one of the UN sending states. Today, the Republic of Korea is one of Norway’s most important trade partners. It is worth mentioning that the combined trade between South Korea and Norway is higher than any of the other Nordic countries. The maritime sector, seafood, tech products and cars are some key sectors. The energy area, and not least green solutions such as offshore wind and hydrogen, has a huge potential for closer cooperation in the coming years.
Last year Norway and the Republic of Korea celebrated 60 years of diplomatic relations, and the cooperation and friendship is stronger than ever. The anniversary was celebrated through several events and projects, and the highlight was the state visit by The President Moon Jae-in to Norway in June. Cultural exchanges between Norway and South Korea are an important part of the Embassy’s work. Our focus areas for the past couple of years have been literature, ceramics, performing arts and music. Commemorating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations was a special project with many cultural events. One of these was a very successful and well attended photo exhibition at the War Memorial of Korea, portraying the Norwegian contributions to the Korean War, notably through the field hospital NORMASH and its medical staff. This exhibition will be displayed in Busan later this year.
[National Flag of Norway]
[Map of Norway]