SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Korea Bizwire) – A pair of giant pandas born in China will fly to South Korea as early as next month to live at an amusement park owned by Samsung Everland, company officials said Thursday.
South Korea and China designated Samsung Everland as the host for the bears after Beijing decided to send them to Seoul following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to South Korea in 2014.
Dubbed “panda diplomacy,” China has a tradition of sending pandas to foreign countries as a gesture of friendship.
Samsung Everland held a contest to name the pandas through its social networking sites in both South Korea and China for two weeks from Dec. 22 last year.’
About 8,500 names were received and the winners will soon be decided after discussions with Chinese authorities, company officials said.
“We are pleased that we have joined a joint research project for pandas,” said Kim Bong-yeong, head of Samsung’s resort business division.
China sent a pair of pandas to South Korea in 1994, but they were returned in 1998, when South Korea was hit by a severe liquidity crisis.
The pandas will be open to the public in April this year, company officials said.