Vietnamese national named honorary citizen of Seoul

By Sen    November 14, 2019 | 04:00 am PT
Vietnamese national named honorary citizen of Seoul
Le Nguyen Minh Phuong (C) receives the Seoul Honorary Citizenship award from Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon in Seoul, South Korea, November 13, 2019. Photo courtesy of Vietnam News Agency.
Le Nguyen Minh Phuong is the first Vietnamese citizen to receive Seoul’s Honorary Citizenship for her contributions to the South Korean capital.

Broadcaster and translator Phuong, 32, was among 18 foreign residents who received the award from Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon at the Seoul City Hall Tuesday.

In 2013, Da Nang native Phuong went to Korea to pursue a masters degree in Korean education under a fully-funded Korean government scholarship at Yonsei University in Seoul, one of the best universities in the country.

After her studies, she began working as a broadcaster for KBS channel, one of the biggest Korea's public service broadcasters, teaching Vietnamese and Korean. Phuong has also interpreted at several political meetings between the Vietnamese and Korean governments.

She said the honor would give her the opportunity to participate in more public events organized by Seoul authorities, and take part in advising the city's policy making and administrative missions.

"I hope that I can join in different roles at many activities to introduce and promote the image of the country and people of Vietnam, especially of the Vietnamese diaspora in South Korea," she said.

A member of the awardee selection committee said at the ceremony that Phuong and an Indonesian awardee, also a migrant wife, will be role models for women in South Korea to overcome gender stereotypes, Phuong said.

Honorary citizens like Phuong will be given opportunities to participate in the administrative affairs of Seoul, including the possibility of being appointed a policy advisor to the Seoul administration.

The awardees, selected from the pool of international residents in Seoul, are those who have lived in Seoul for more than three consecutive years or have visited Seoul, and have contributed to improving the Seoul’s status as a city and have been role models to Seoul’s citizens and other foreign residents.

Since 1958, Seoul has conferred the award to 827 foreigners from 97 countries, including the United States, Japan, Germany, and the U.K.

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