President Yoon Suk-yeol and First Lady Kim Keon-hee on Dec. 6 held a talk with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who was on a state visit to Korea, at Sangchunjae, the reception hall of the former presidential compound of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Lee Jae-myoung in a written briefing that President Yoon and his wife visited Sangchunjae for a 30-minute friendly chat over snacks with President Phuc.
The two leaders met for two consecutive days including the day before at the Office of the President in Seoul's Yongsan-gu District. The day of their Cheong Wa Dae meetup was Tuesday, when the compound is closed to the public.
Stepping inside Sangchunjae, President Yoon explained that the building was erected 40 years ago and that its name means "a house of everlasting spring." "After I took office, I opened Cheong Wa Dae to the public so all the people can visit Sangchunjae," he added.
The first lady said wood from pine trees over 200 years old were used when first building Sangchunjae.
President Phuc looked around and said he could feel the tradition of Korean architecture.
At the snack meeting, President Phuc said, "I am deeply grateful to my Korean friends for helping Vietnam's development by believing in Vietnam's potential through much investment," adding, "With so much room for cooperation not just in economy but also other sectors like national defense, I'm certain that both countries will become the best partners in Asia."
In response, President Yoon said, "I'm so glad and grateful that President Phuc visited Korea to mark the 30th anniversary of bilateral ties between Korea and Vietnam," adding, "I believe that President Phuc's visit will be a good opportunity to make the past 30 years a steppingstone to take a major step forward in bilateral relations and develop them into a comprehensive strategic partnership."
First lady Kim also asked for President Phuc's help in resolving visa issues for Koreans in Vietnam.
President Yoon and the first lady gave as presents to the Vietnamese leader and his wife a small portable dining table and cosmetics.