First lady Kim Keon-hee attended the opening ceremony for the new building of the French Embassy in Seoul on April 15.
"The embassy building is an exquisite blend of the spirit of Korea and unique charm of France," she said in congratulating the opening, according to presidential spokesperson Lee Do-woon in a news release.
Saying she spotted the names of Korean War veterans engraved on the new building, she added, "We will never forget the noble sacrifice and devotion of veterans who made the Republic of Korea what it is today."
"I hope that both countries develop a future-oriented relationship based on their longstanding friendship."
Designed by the late architect Kim Chung-up in 1962, the building is considered a masterpiece of contemporary Korean architecture.
Ahead of the opening, the building went through years of renovation before being restored to its original appearance by Kim.
Before the ceremony, the first lady also spoke to visiting French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna.
Mentioning France's recent passage of an animal welfare law to take effect next year banning pet stores from selling animals that are not abandoned, she said, "I hope that Korea and France continue policy cooperation to develop animal rights."
Spokesperson Lee quoted Minister Colonna as saying the French constitution enshrines the spirit of respect for animals and classifies them as living creatures with emotions, and asked both President Yoon Suk Yeol and first lady Kim Keon Hee to visit France.