BUSAN, South Korea — President Benigno S. Aquino III, along with other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), graced the gala welcoming dinner hosted by Republic of Korea (ROK) President Park Geun-hye on Thursday.
The ASEAN heads of state were joined by their respective spouses during the dinner, held at the Convention Hall of the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) here.
Prepared by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, the gala dinner featured Korean cuisine and was accompanied by a program of traditional and modern dance, K-pop and digital displays.
South Korea is celebrating its 25th year of partnership with ASEAN member states.
A statement issued to reporters said the dinner created an atmosphere of harmony and goodwill among the leaders, and at the same time promoted closer friendship and a deeper understanding of Korean culture.
The VIP lounge was also decorated with Korean hanji, dyed fabric, paper windows and crafts. The event hall lobby featured lighting through hanji and traditional hanji windows.
The guests were entertained with cultural performances by the ASEAN-Korea Traditional Orchestra, National Dance Company of Korea, and a shadow performance entitled “Harmony.”
The event was highlighted by a special performance by K-pop stars, which South Korea is widely known for.
Before the dinner, the President toured an exhibition of Korean traditional crafts at the convention center’s third-floor lobby, displaying the knots, white porcelain, jogakbo (patchwork wrapping-cloth), traditional and modern soban (portable small dining tables) and Tteoksal Dasik (Korean rice cakes).
Together with other ASEAN leaders, the President had an opportunity to see master craftsmen demonstrating their skills.