Hanjin Group’s late Chairman Yang Ho Cho was awarded the 2019 Van Fleet Award for his contribution in strengthening ties between Korea and the U.S.
The Van Fleet Award has been given annually since 1995 by the Korea Society, a nonprofit organization promoting Korea-US relations, to to individuals and organizations who have brought the two countries closer.
Hanjin Group Chairman Walter Cho received the Van Fleet Award on behalf of the late Chairman Yang Ho Cho at the awards ceremony held on November 20 at Plaza Hotel, New York.
The award was accredited to the late Chairman’s lifetime efforts to improve relations and advance the economic development of Korea and the U.S. through the transport industry.
The late Chairman Cho pursued economic growth of both Korea and the U.S. through the management of the Hanjin Group. In 1998, amid a financial crisis, the late Chairman Cho purchased 27 aircraft from Boeing. Boeing responded with goodwill by lowering the deposit and arranging favorable financial conditions for the purchase. This case set a precedent for friendly cooperation between companies of the two countries.
The late Chairman also led the creation of the SkyTeam alliance with Delta Air Lines, Air France and Aeromexico, and launched a trans-Pacific joint venture with Delta Air Lines in May 2018, which has strengthened the foundation for the two airlines to grow together.
In 2017, the late Chairman opened the 1,100-foot (335 meters) high, 73-story Wilshire Grand Center in downtown Los Angeles, contributing greatly to job creation and an economic boost in the region.
The late Chairman also served as co-chairman of the Korea-U.S. Business Council organized by the Federation of Korean Industries and played a pivotal role in strengthening the two countries’ economic ties.
“I am deeply grateful that my father’s lifetime of dedication to the improvement of the relations between Korea and the U.S. has been recognized and honored,” said Chairman Walter Cho in the awards ceremony.
“I will follow on his path towards developing ties between our two countries.”
The Korea Society is a nonprofit organization founded in 1957 under the leadership of General James A. Van Fleet, who commanded the U.S. armed forces in the Korean War. Based in New York, the Korea Society facilitates discussion and research on topics of interest to both Korea and the U.S. such as politics, business, the economy and education. This is the first time for the Korea Society to honor the deceased with the Van Fleet Award.