Moon hails Korea-ASEAN partnership at summit banquet
BUSAN, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in hosted a welcoming banquet on Monday for the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) participating in a special summit.
The two-day summit kicked off earlier in the day in the southern port city of Busan to mark the 30th anniversary of dialogue relations between South Korea and ASEAN.
In his welcome speech, Moon hailed the 30-year cooperation for "offering hopes for a sustainable world to mankind."
"We have become 'optimal partners' based on friendship and trust for the past 30 years and now have a chance to make a new leap," Moon said.
The banquet, attended by about 300 people, featured a fusion of tradition and cutting-edge technologies to signify what Moon's office described as "unity in diversity."
A hologram of a large bronze bell from the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C.- A.D. 935), known as "the Bell of King Seongdeok," was installed at the entrance where Moon and first lady Kim Jung-sook received the guests. It rang as each leader arrived at the venue.
In the reception hall, a little library was set up with books recommended by the 10 ASEAN leaders, to create a space for the guests to share their interest while exchanging pleasantries.
The dinner was served with a four-course meal made with fresh ingredients produced in Korea, such as pine mushrooms and abalone, with each course symbolizing peace, accompaniment, prosperity and harmony, according to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. Halal food was included on the menu.
The banquet proceeded with performances by artists, including a traditional Korean dance group, a K-pop artist and a joint orchestra consisting of Koreans and people from ASEAN countries, on the stage that incorporated mixed-reality technology.
Participating ASEAN leaders were Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
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