The relationship between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) has lived up to its agreed strategic level as evidenced by a deep mutual trust, highly-efficient multidimensional cooperation and cherished exchanges between people.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Tran Trong Toan made the remarks at a banquet in Seoul on December 21 to celebrate the 20 th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.

The function, co-hosted by the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK and the RoK-Vietnam Friendship Association (KOVIFA), welcomed the attendance of the first Vietnamese ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Phu Binh and the first RoK Ambassador to Vietnam Choi Yong-joo, among others.

Vietnam and the RoK lifted their diplomatic ties, first set up on December 22, 1992, to a comprehensive partnership in August 2001 and then a strategic cooperative partnership in October 2009 for the interest of both people, and for peace, stability and development in the region.

Ambassador Toan said over the past 20 years, cooperation between the two countries has developed robustly in all cooperative fields, ranging from politics, economics, culture, social affairs, education and training, to science and technology, defence and security and people exchanges.

“Vietnam and the RoK have become sincere friends and reliable partners in their national construction and development cause,” the Vietnamese diplomat said.

Toan affirmed the contributions by economic and social organisations, like KOVIFA and the Vietnam-RoK Friendship Association (VIKOFA), to the increasing friendship and strategic cooperation between the two countries.

He appreciated the warm sentiments and support that the RoK Government and people have given to Vietnam as well as contributions by KOVIFA, the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), and the Korean International Trade Association (KITA).

On the day, a Vietnamese sailor currently working in Mokpo , the RoK’s Jeolla province, Tran Dinh Tam, was honoured by the RoK S-Oil petroleum corporation as a hero of 2012 at a ceremony in Seoul.

Tam, coming from An Duong district, the northern port city of Hai Phong, rescued a RoK tourist from drowning at the sea on February 23 when he was walking along the coast with friends.

Eighteen others also won the Hero Neighbour 2012 Award, which was first launched in 2008, in honour of those who willingly sacrifice their lives to save others’ lives.-VNA