Dr. Kyudok Hong, Ambassador of The Republic of Korea to Hungary

  • 28 May 2024 3:39 PM
Dr. Kyudok Hong, Ambassador of The Republic of Korea to Hungary
Whilst this is his first assignment as ambassador, Dr. Hong has decades of experience in the fields of foreign policy and national defense, as a university professor, advisor and deputy minister.

He began his public service in 1980 under Brigadier General Robert W. Pointer Jr. at the ROK-US Combined Forces Command.

As a culmination of his years of experience as professor and researcher, he was appointed Advisor of the National Security and Unification Subcommittee of the Commission on Presidential Transition for President Myung-bak Lee in December 2007.

In recognition of his expertise in foreign and defense policy, Dr. Hong was chosen to serve as Deputy Minister for Defense Reform at the Ministry of National Defense between 2009 and 2013. 

Dr. Hong became an emeritus professor of political science and international relations at Sookmyung Women’s University after 29 years. During his tenure, his lectures enjoyed popularity among students and served as the bread-and-butter for students who aspired to become academics and public servants.

While he was popular with his students and was awarded the “Best Professor” title for nine consecutive years, he also held various academic positions, including the Dean of Social Sciences, Dean of External Relations and Dean of Academic Affairs.

Recently, he successfully acted as advisor to the 2021 Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference.

Also recently he worked on building a Security Sector Governance network with regional partners as a regional associate of the Geneva-based think tank DCAF in East Asia.

With this forum, Dr. Hong invites scholars from home and abroad to enhance regional cooperation for the challenges of cyber threats, global health crises, maritime security threats, climate and energy crises, and North Korean human rights issues.

In commemoration of 29 years of service, he received the Medal of Service of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Education’s Commendation in 2022.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?

I arrived on January 16th 2023. I was asked to serve as 14th Ambassador to Hungary by President Yoon Suk Yeol as he provided me with credentials on January 12th.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?

This is my first mission.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?

Hungarians are very supportive and friendly toward Koreans. Korea became no. 1 investor in Hungary when I first arrived.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do? 

Going up to Buda Castle to enjoy beautiful panoramic view after walking across the Szechenyi Bridge. They should also buy tickets or a travel pass for public transport at the airport.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?

Somlói, gundel cake, and floating islands as desserts, pork knuckle and various soups.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?

Fresh eggs, yogurt, and blueberry.

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?


8. What do you miss most from home? 

Some Korean vegetables which we can hardly have here.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?

Nothing else so far.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?


11. Where did you spend your last vacation?

Lake Balaton

12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?


13. Apart from temptation what can't you resist?

Drinking wine.

14. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?

Queen, Mrs. Harris goes to Paris, listening to music.

15. Red or white wine?


16. Book or movie?


- Related note: he wrote a book chapter with Ambassador Michael Reiterer on The Republic of Korea’s Cyber Defense and Digital Cooperation Between South Korea and EU,”Cybersecurity Policy in the EU and South Korea from Consultation to Action: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives”.

17. Morning person or night person?

Morning person

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?

Demographic challenges

19. Buda or Pest side?


20. What would you say is your personal motto?

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I like the song “When you wish upon a star" by Linda Ronstadt or Cliff Edwards. The song's lyrics go as follows:

"If your heart is in your dream, No request is too extreme,
anything your heart desires will come true."

Isn't that beautiful? I have always believed in my dream. Hope everyone does.

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