2009 Newsletters (5 Newsletters)
things have changed since the Korean War
Korean construction company built
Burj Dubai Tower, tallest in world
Burj Dubai Tower was officially opened in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates this
week, with great fanfare. News stories were telecast and published all around
facts were plentiful; a height of some 820 meters (2,700 feet), the tower containing
shopping centers, theatres, condomininums, a hotel… the details went on.
nothing was said about the construction company that spent the past five years
building it – the Samsung Engineering and Construction Co. unit of Samsung C and
T of Korea.
the year 2010 when Korea seeks to establish its “brand” around the world as a
leader in technologies, industry, ecology, medicine, the humanities, little has
been done to promote Korea’s role in this vast construction undertaking… or in
that’s because Samsung Engineering and Korea’s other huge construction firms have
operated globally without fanfare for decades. Yet they have been vitally involved
in some of the biggest projects the world has ever seen.
this column touches on Korean War Veterans, so read on)
Engineering also was principal construction contractor for the 450-meter (1,476
feet) high Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, known the world over
as an engineering and construction triumph.
| || |
Petronas Towers have been featured in major motion pictures, and in advertisements,
travelogues, telecasts, magazine and newspaper articles.
Petronas Towers constituted the highest buildings in the world from the time they
opened in 1998 until 2004.
they were surpassed by the much acclaimed Taipei 101, the 510-meter high (1,673
feet) tower located in the Xinyi District in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.
Samsung Engineering and Construction of Korea was principal contractor and project
Korea itself construction began on the DMC Landmark Tower in Seoul’s Media City
district in October, 2009. Again, Samsung C and T’s engineering and construction
wing is the primary contractor and developer.
stands for Digital Media City, the name of a vast digital-related research and
educational complex on the western side of Seoul, not far from the Han River.
640-meter (2,100 feet) Tower is planned for completion in 2015. It will stand
on the route into Seoul from the Incheon International Airport, showcasing the
nation as one that is buttressed with the most progressive technology in the world.
has been personally supported and driven by the Mayor of Seoul, Oh Se-Hoon.
are just some examples of the great spires rising in Asia and elsewhere that rely
upon Korean talent and know-how.
you see an article about such a behemoth high-rise going up virtually anywhere,
chances are that research will show Korean engineers, entrepreneurs and financiers
are heavily involved.
days before the opening of the Burj Dubai Towers in Dubai, Korea Electric Power
Co. (KEPCO), a state-owned utility, led a Korean consortium that was awarded a
$40 billion (US) contract – read 'B' for billion – to design, construct and operate
four nuclear power plants for the same United Arab Emirates.
get to the Korean War Veterans very soon, read on)
partners include Samsung C and T, Hyundai Engineering and Construction, Doosan
Heavy Industries and other Korean companies.
partners competed against consortiums of the largest, best known electrical equipment
companies and nuclear engineering specialists in the world.
the huge prize was a feat that attests not just to the technical competence and
track record of the Korean firms, but to outstanding business acumen.
Koreans out-dealt, out-manoeuvred, out-marketed some of the most brilliant advertisers
and deal makers in the world. They have been doing it for decades, without fanfare.
president of Korea, Lee Myung-bak at one time was president of Hyundai Engineering
and Construction, one of the partners in the KEPCO consortium that won the colossal
President of Korea, he worked very hard trying to help win the project. He called
the contract award a great gift from the Lord, which comes at a time following
a global recession that has hit Korea hard.
Engineering and Construction also has worked on some of the world’s outstanding
industrial projects. In recent years the huge firm has built marine terminals,
electric power plants, gas processing plants in many nations around the world.
are not small programs but often involve colossal facilities such as an entire
petroleum processing and refinery complex, including the docks and terminal structures
for incoming ships.
who return to Korea next year – at least 2,400 of them – to participate in ceremonies
and events that commemorate the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War
will be longing nostalgically for the strange land that captured their lives so
long ago… and has never left them.
the spirit of the people and those times is still there, and flourishes. The Veterans
will not want for reconnecting with their past.
they should also realize the absolutely superb steps – not steps, but great leaps!
– taken by this nation they fought for so long ago.
against any other nation in the world Korea is at the forefront in all technologies,
science, medicine, the arts.
is also in the fore in the way it treats, respects and welcomes the Veterans from
nations that supported the impoverished, nearly crushed country during the years
of the Korean War.
treatment and respect for the Veterans who fought to bring freedom to their homeland
soil, the Koreans are without peer in this entire world. No other nation does
as much to pay homage to those who fought to bring them freedom.
has been turmoil in the past 60 years, there have been recriminations, there have
been periods of great unrest, but there always has been forward and upward progress.
you imagine, cold and shivering in a trench in a war year, or sweating and being
stung by mosquitos on a hot, dangerous night, that Korean technology would place
the spires on the tallest buildings in the world?
then we thought of the Empire State Building in New York City as the pinnacle
of the “modern era.”
Burj Dubai Tower that opened this week in Dubai, built by Korean engineers and
specialists, is roughly two times as high as the Empire State Building.
tower, and all of the other towers Korean engineers and specialist workers have
been involved with, are, in their way, monuments to all who served in Korea during
they attest to the near incredible resiliency and hard work ethic of the Korean
without those who served helping to make and keep South Korea free, none of these
amazing achievements would have been possible.
Korean Government and the Korean people know this. And that is why they welcome
Korean War Veterans back to Korea every year.
why the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs and the 60th Anniversary of
the Korean War Commemoration Committee headed by Prime Minister Chung Un-chan
and former Prime Minister Lee Hong-gu are working so hard to make 2010 an especially
memorable year for all of the world’s Veterans who fought in Korea, six decades
might think it a stretch to say (but not those who fought in Korea) that when
one of the great towers is seen, in person, or in a photograph or on a video screen,
that Veterans can justly say, "There is something that I did with my life…
there is the proof of that very great thing that I did so long ago, in a land
few people had ever heard of, and which mysteriously got into my heart and has
been with me ever since."
of hauling firewood or ammunition or supplies up the hills on their backs, the
sons and grandsons of the Koreans we served with are building great towers in
countries all over the world.
Perhaps the Veteran
may see happy school children smiling and playing in the streets, or at work in
their schools, maybe attired in nice clothing, free and happy as cherished children
he will see a distinguished older lady in her late seventies or early eighties,
a child herself when he was in Korea and maybe when he was not much older. He
may watch such as her walk with pride and happiness and approval of her country,
or cast her vote perhaps, for somebody of her own choosing, and do it with safety
and anonymity and the privilege of hard won freedom.
veteran should think that they are memorials to his own youth, too, and to that
of his comrades who risked all for them, and to those who gave all.
are contrasts in Korea, as there are in all lands; great dichotomies between the
wealthy and those who need charity, diverging political persuasions between left
and right, diversity of religion, with temples, with cathedrals of all faiths,
with mosques, with chapels, all nourished by the air and the pure water of hope
and of freedom.
| || |
Veteran, they may strike a special medal this year to commemorate you! What would
you think of that?
what would you think if the developers were to name that new 2,100-foot high tower
in Seoul's Digital Media City to symbolically remember all who came and sacrificed
in the war years and had such hope for Korea and its people. They still have that
hope, though their years grow short, and soon they can come back no more.
this year they will come!
Links to other organizations
article provided courtesy of the Korean War Veteran, firstname.lastname@example.org