A Hungarian Cultural Institute opened in Seoul on Thursday. At the opening ceremony, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told reporters: “30 years ago, a new Europe was born thanks to the fact that the countries of Central Europe regained their freedom. Hungary is proud of the fact that it was the first of these countries to establish diplomatic relations with South Korea”.

“And we are even prouder of the fact that 30 years following the establishment of diplomatic relations we can state that relations between the two countries have never been so good”, the Minister said.

“The distance between Hungary and South Korea is great in a geographical sense, and accordingly cooperation must be given a stable foundation, which can be assured to the greatest extent by relations between people, which in turn can be best built via education and culture”, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted. “We are proud of the fact that increasing numbers of Korean students are coming to Hungary to study”, the Minister said, adding: “There are currently 751 Korean students attending Hungarian universities, one hundred of whom are performing their studies thanks to Hungary state scholarships”. “The Korean language can now be studied at two universities in Hungary, and on Thursday we will be concluding an agreement that will enable Hungary to send guest lecturers to Korea so that a Hungarian language course can begin at the Dankook University in Seoul”, he continued.

A cultural season was held in Seoul to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, within the framework of which over 50 events were organised, including the first ever visit to Korea on the part of the Hungarian State Opera House.

The opening of the new institute in Seoul means that the number of Hungarian Cultural Institutes worldwide had now increased to 26. Mr. Szijjártó assured South Korea of its support with relation to the reunification process.