Pyeongtaek becomes Oakland’s first South Korean “friendship city”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf(left) shakes her hands with Pyeongtaek Mayor Jae-Kwang Kong at the ‘Friendship Relation City Signing Ceremony’ held at City Hall.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (left) shakes her hands with Pyeongtaek Mayor Jae-Kwang Kong at the ‘Friendship Relation City Signing Ceremony’ held at City Hall.

On Tuesday, Oakland officially became a “friendship city” with Pyeongtaek, South Korea. At a ceremony held at City Hall, the mayors of the two cities signed a memorandum of understanding cementing the relationship.

“Our cities have many things in common. We have beautiful coastline, we have beautiful people, and we have important industries,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Both cities also have ports and are close in size: Oakland has around 420,000 people, Pyeongtaek 480,000. “We have many ideas that I know that we can exchange, and that will be mutually beneficial,” the mayor said.

As part of the friendship city arrangement, the two cities are planning exchange programs focused on trade, education, tourism, sports and culture. “We will also cooperate in the areas of trade and logistics, utilizing the cities’ strong port infrastructure,” said Pyeongtaek Mayor Jae-Kwang Kong, speaking in Korean.

Becoming friendship cities is the first stage of an official relationship between two cities in different countries. As the relationship grows, and if both cities want a long-term cooperative relationship, they may become sister cities, according to Sister Cities International.

Pyeongtaek is the first South Korean city that Oakland has formed a friendship relationship with. “I hope that this will become a good beginning for the prosperous relations between the two cities,” said Jimin Kim, the acting consul general of South Korea.

Some Korean-Americans at the ceremony said they are excited about the new friendship. “With the relationship, many cultural delegations from Korea will visit here and perform traditional songs and dances,” said Joanna Kim-Selby, president of the East Bay Korean-American Senior Service Center, speaking in Korean. The 86-year-old immigrated to the United States in 1958. “We feel nostalgia when we watch Korean performances from our former home. Those exchanges can also promote Korean culture in the United States,” she said.

Leewoong Song, the secretary general of the Oakland & East Bay Korean-American Association, said that he hopes that Oakland residents will host South Korean exchange students “and help them to explore the United States at lower cost.”

The ceremony took place on October 3, which is National Foundation Day in South Korea, a celebration of the formation of the first state of Korea in 2333 B.C. The flag of South Korea was hung in front of Oakland City Hall. “This is the first time that we have raised the Korean flag to celebrate the founding day, and I promise you it not will be the last,” said Schaaf.

Around 2,400 people of Korean descent live in Oakland according to the Census Bureau. Schaaf thanked the city’s Korean community “for making our city richer by sharing your culture, your food, your products that you invent—everything you do to make this a great city.”

29 Comments

  1. Vasiliki-Anna Terzopoulou

    Please have a look at koreandogs.org and prevent the inhumane pain that’s affecting this world of dog and cat meat. Whilst it’s not the only pain in the world it’s pretty disgusting and unescessry and it’s down to Korean desendants who are particular in that they are from here to say something. And to take some time to consider there future.

  2. Vasiliki-Anna Terzopoulou

    Please have a look at koreandogs.org and prevent the inhumane pain that’s affecting this world of dog and cat meat. Whilst it’s not the only pain in the world it’s pretty disgusting and unescessry and it’s down to Korean desendants who are particular in that they are from here to say something. And to take some time to consider there future.

  3. Deanna Horton

    Please make this cruelty stop! These dogs and cats do not deserve the cruelty and suffering they endure on a minute to minute basis of their pathetic lives. Man should not eat their best friend! It’s time to evolve. How can you look into those eyes and torture these dogs so cruelly and then EAT them???? I don’t know how you people sleep at night. Very disturbing. Please make this cruelty stop.

  4. Daniela

    please stop the dog meat trade and abuse of dogs, its so barbaric

    • Cristina Economides

      Barbaric is nothing, compared with the way these sentient animals are treated, They are baiked, boiled alive, e.t.c… This savage behaviour only depicts the need of disclosing full psychopathology, towards beings that have no voice to react. This is very abnormal, and our chilren will copy this horrenous dysfunction. SOMEONE STOP ASIAN MONSTERS!!!!

  5. Karen Coll

    You can help stop the torture and cruelty of these living creatures, please stop this orifice act.

  6. Leigh McDonald

    All living things deserve respect. If that can be achieved through this new relationship, please let that be a way forward. A way to come together on such an emotive topic that could lead to something we, as human beings, can be proud of. Please let this be a meeting of the beautiful people that both countries share.

  7. Lisa Strand

    This is not how a civilized society functions. This is a cruel act of barbarism and now better than the times of Ancient Rome during gladiator days. More or less the last time we seen anything of this magnitude, Hitler was torturing and killing the Jewish people!!!

  8. Michelle Setaro

    Please use all your power and help these tortured animals

  9. CINDY KELLIE

    Please look into your hearts and hear the cries of many cats and dogs as they are savagely murdered. Please hear the cries of those whose dogs were stolen, only to be slaughtered. Please stop this inhumane practice, for the lives of the innocent cats and dogs.

  10. Michelle Setaro

    Please use all your power to end the TORTURE of dogs and cats …and all animals in KOREA AND CHINA. Please urge them to enact animal welfare laws and enforce them. This must end …animals DESERVE our protection

  11. Eva Carrillo

    Please, avoid the torture of dogs.

  12. Lance

    Please have a look at koreandogs.org and prevent the inhumane pain that’s affecting this world of dog and cat meat. Whilst it’s not the only pain in the world it’s pretty disgusting and unescessry and it’s down to Korean desendants who are particular in that they are from here to say something. And to take some time to consider there future.

  13. Pâquerette Preborski

    All living things deserve respect. Please let this be a meeting of the beautiful people that both countries share.Please have a look at koreandogs.org and prevent the inhumane pain that’s affecting this world of dog and cat meat.

  14. Muradiye Öztaşkın

    Please support the end of animal cruelty!

  15. Jean Riding

    Please stop the torture and abuse of these dogs

  16. DONALD

    NO WAY. STOP THE BRUTALIZATION OF DOGS AND CATS IN KOREA

  17. Heidi Holloran

    Please use your political power to stop the unnecessary torture and slaughter of innocent dogs and cats for the meat trade in South Korea. These barbaric practices are inhumane and unacceptable. Please read koreandogs.org and take the first step to ending animal cruelty in your country. Only then would South Korea truly become a “Sister City” to Oakland and the United States.

  18. Rosanna

    Please stop torture of cats and dogs in korea

  19. Catherine Baran

    This appauling situation is beyond evil I hope all the filth involved in this industry rot in hell I would love half an hour with each of them give them a taste of their own medicine

  20. Omar

    Please help to end the cruel, and vile illegal dog meat trade. Morally, it is the right thing to do.

  21. Stephanie East-Ginting

    Please look at the Korean Dogs.org sight and consider the current industry that is associated with the torture and consumption of innocent dogs and cats just for human so called benefit. This should be stopped. Thank you.

  22. Rita Ceresini

    I am sickened to see beautiful domesticated dogs be so callously and cruelly treated and then ultimately horrifically murdered. The fear, pain, and the suffering of these animals must be beyond tolerable. Just watch a video, these dogs look like the dogs we call out pets, our companions, and our family!!! My heart is broken and I do not believe any animal should be treated so poorly. Please help by strongly urging Korea to end the barbaric practice of eating dogs. It must stop!!!

  23. Deanna Horton

    I am extremely upset about the torture and consumption of companion animals in South Korea.
    With the ubiquity of social medias, every day we are seeing shocking and heartbreaking images and videos of innocent dogs being tortured and killed in your country.

    Even though Korea has established an Animal Protection Law for companion animals, dogs are still beaten, hung, electrocuted, and treated brutally by farmers and slaughters. Also, dogs and cats are still being beaten and boiled alive for so-called elixirs, which do not have medical properties except in the minds of ignorant and gullible customers.

    These practices have no place in the modern world. Other Asian countries have banned the eating of dog meat and the cruel industry that goes with it, such as Taiwan and the Philippines. Why does Korea persist in lagging behind these countries and other civilized societies?

    It’s the responsibility of the Korean government to once and for all end the cruel dog meat and cat medicine industries in Korea. It is time to dismiss the childish myths and propaganda surrounding these industries and their vile products. It is time to leave behind backward and unnecessary traditions.

    And it is time for Korea to start taking animal welfare seriously and show that it really does have a compassionate and ethical society. That means it is time for the Korean government to start better educating the public about the importance of spaying and neutering, about not abandoning pets, and about treating animals in a proper manner.

    Until these things are done, Korea’s reputation in the international community will continue to suffer. Its citizens will continue to face shame and embarrassment. And Korea will continue to be regarded as “third world,” despite its modernization and attempts at globalized thinking.

    With the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympic Games being hosted in Pyeongchang, I would ask that you do all in your power to stop this barbarism and cruelty as the world’s attention will be on South Korea both before and during the events.

    From now on, I will boycott Korean products, and I will not support Korean companies or visit Korea until the abuse of cats and dogs has finally ended.

    Sincerely,

    Deanna Horton

  24. MIOARA PUICA

    I believe that dogs shouldn’t suffer and die for the trade in their meat. I support an end to the dog meat trade throughout Asia, and urge the governments of all countries where the trade in dog meat exists to work diligently and quickly towards eradicating this cruel and unnecessary practice.
    I know that is very disturbing but we cannot watch torture happen to the innocent and defenseless and do nothing!
    We were never given hearts and minds to think about the cat and dog meat trade, well they are not hurting me so I will look away and let it go on!We are better than this. It is our duty to do everything we can to stop this atrocity and genocides ASAP!!!

  25. Mark Donner

    IF YOU BECOME A SISTER CITY WITH THIS SOUTH KOREAN GROUP THAT IS GUILTY OF THEM MOST HORRIFIC BARBARISM IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND, THAT MAKES YOU EQUALLY GUILTY. THESE SOUTH KOREANS MAKE ISIS LOOK LIKE A HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATION. STOP THE TERRORIST ATROCITIES FROM SOUTH KOREA. DO NOT MAKE A “FRIENDSHIP” WITH TERRORISTS!

  26. Jane Arellano

    Please stop this cruel and barbaric dog farming.

  27. Larissa Raman

    Please stop this cruel and barbaric act!

  28. David Allison

    Please take action to persuade the mayor of your South Korean sister-city to help end the torture, killing and consumption of dogs and cats. Oakland should not be complicit in this cruel, horrendous practice.

Post a comment

Oakland North welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Oakland North assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content. For concerns about comments posted to this site, please contact us at staff@oaklandnorth.net.

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook

*
*