Foreign Minister visits Four Major Rivers Restoration Project during the First Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Seoul
In addition to attending the First Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on 27-28 October 2011, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul visited the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project.
On 27 October 2011, after arriving in Seoul, Foreign Minister Surapong, accompanied by Dr. Shim Myung-Pil, Minister, Office of National River Restoration, Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, visited the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project at Han River, Yeoju city in Kyeonggi-Do province. The Rivers Restoration Project Project is a part of the ROK’s Green Growth Development Project to restore the four major rivers, namely Han River, Nakdong River, Geum River and Yeongsan River, which costs a total of 18,000 million US dollars (approximately 550,000 million baht). The Rivers Restoration Project’s purposes are to conserve water resources, implement comprehensive flood control measures, improve water quality and restore ecosystems and create public spaces for local utilities and develop comprehensive major river restoration system and local economies as well as enhance the ROK’s leadership on water management.
After the visit, Foreign Minister Surapong gave a press interview that he was instructed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to visit the ROK Major Rivers Restoration Project, which could be applied to solve the flood situation in Thailand in long term. The Thai Government is interested in studying water management plans in several countries of which the ROK is one with expertise on this matter. Regarding Thailand’s water management, the Royal Irrigation Department of Thailand has cooperated with the K-Water Resource Corporation of the ROK, which is responsible for the ROK Rivers Restoration Project. In this connection, to alleviate the current flooding situation in the Thailand, the K-Water has proposed that flood water be drained out to sea as soon as possible and an additional dam be built at Yom River. Furthermore, more canals should be constructed to drain the water to the Gulf of Thailand directly. Existing canals should be dredged and banks along the rivers should be strengthened. The Foreign Minister said the K-Water proposals were interesting and stated that taking into account the ROK Office of National River Restoration, Thailand’s water management related agencies should be intergraded into one organization.
In response to media inquiries on assisting Diplomatic Missions, Consular Representatives and International Organizations (DCIOs) during the flood situation in Bangkok, Foreign Minister Surapong stated that the Department of Protocol would be the focal point to coordinate with and advise DCIOs. In this connection, the Department of Protocol has kept DCIOs informed of the latest situation, especially with circular from the Flood Relief Operations Center (FROC). The DIOCs can also monitor the situation through the websites of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FROC and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). Furthermore, the Foreign Ministry has coordinated with the BMA to provide special preventative measure to the Embassies and International Organizations that are located in high risk areas, such as the French and Portuguese Embassies as well as the FAO and Unicef Offices.
Furthermore, Foreign Minister Surapong said that he would pay a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Lee Myung-bak , President of the ROK, on 28 October 2011 to present a letter from the Thai Prime Minister, expressing interest in the Major Rivers Restoration Project of the ROK, which could be applied and used as a guideline for Thailand to solve the flood situation in Thailand.
On the same day, Foreign Minister Surapong received a contribution of 100,000 US dollars (approximately 3 million baht) from Mr. Kun Soo Lee, Present of the Dong Ah Elecomm Corporation, to assist flood victims in Thailand.
For further information, please contact the Press Division, Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tel.02-6435170, Fax.02-6435169, E-mail: email@example.com