SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was awarded honorary citizenship by Seoul's city mayor Park Won-soon this morning.
Mr Lee is in South Korea for a three-day visit from Dec 10-12 and will be attending the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit in Busan tomorrow. He made a stop in Seoul where he met Mr Park for the first time en route to Busan.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Mr Lee said Seoul and Singapore share many similarities. He remarked that both are densely populated urban cities, and face challenges on housing, transport and an ageing population. Mr Lee also said he is happy that representatives from both governments frequently visit each other to exchange notes.
People-to-people ties between the two nations are growing rapidly, Mr Lee said. For example, K-pop and Korean drama series remain popular in Singapore. In fact, he added that his wife is "a big fan", reported The Straits Times.
Next year, Singapore and Korea will mark 40 years of diplomatic relations, and President Tony Tan Keng Yam will be making a state visit to Korea then. Mr Lee said he is confident both sides will continue to strengthen their friendship and cooperation.
Local media agencies reported that Mr Lee and Mr Park affirmed positive bilateral ties between Singapore and Korea during their meeting. The mayor introduced Mr Lee to the latest developments in Seoul and invited the mayor to visit Singapore.
The PM last visited Seoul a year ago. He said Seoul continues to grow and develop. Yesterday evening, he took a stroll along the Cheonggyecheon, a recreation space in downtown Seoul, and said he was impressed by the project.
Following his meeting with the mayor, Mr Lee will be briefed on Seoul's transport system.
Mr Lee received honorary citizenship from London earlier this year, reported Channel NewsAsia.