SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – According to media outlets in Vietnam, 59-year old Lee Chang-Keun, a South Korean man who happens to also carry the distinction of being the 31st generation descendant of the Lý Dynasty of Vietnam (1010-1225) has been named a tourism ambassador for Vietnam.
The story of how Lee came to be born in Seoul in 1958 is one that involves palace intrigue, exile and ultimately a triumphant return.
Lee’s roots on the Korean peninsula date back to 1226, when Lý Long Tường’s wayward ship landed on Onjin peninsula (modern day Onjin County in North Korea). Lý Long Tường had been forced to pack up and flee after the throne was usurped by Trần Cảnh, who showed no mercy to living members of what had become an overthrown ruling family.
It remains unclear as to whether Lý had any clear destination in mind before setting sail; some believe that his goal was to reach China.
Upon his arrival, Ly notified and was welcomed by then king Gojong of the Goryeo Dynasty. Lý proved to be a courageous and capable individual when he aided the Koreans in successfully repelling later Mongol invasions. For his exploits, he was rewarded by the king, who bestowed the surname “Lee” onto him and his family. Lý himself is known also by his Korean name “Lee Yong-sang”.
After centuries in exile, the scion of the former ruling family, Lee Chang-Keun or Ly Xuong Can, finally returned to Vietnam in 1994. Welcomed with open arms, he was conferred Vietnamese citizenship.
South Korea took part in the Vietnam War on the side of the Republic of Vietnam and the United States, sending troops and materiel in support. Vietnam and South Korea established diplomatic ties in 1992.
Lee’s nomination as ambassador comes during a time of close relations between the two countries. At the APEC summit held in Da Nang, Vietnam in November, leaders Moon Jae-in and Trần Đại Quang agreed to a target of $100 billion in trade volume by 2020. In 1992, trade between the two nations amounted to $50 million.
In 2016, trade volume between South Korea and Vietnam was $43.4 billion, putting Asia’s fourth largest economy behind China ($71.8 billion) and the United States ($47.1 billion) as Vietnam’s third major trade partner.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)