The Southeast Asia headquarters of Yonhap News Agency, the key South Korean news wire service, officially set sail in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Thursday in a bid to carry more vivid news stories from the region.
The office officially entered into business on Hanoi's emerging business street of Trung Kinh in an opening ceremony attended by Yonhap CEO Cho Sung-boo, South Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Kim Do-hyon and Nguyen Duc Loi, the general director of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
It will serve as the headquarters for Yonhap's overseas bureaus in Southeast Asian countries as well Southwest Asian and Central Asian nations.
Along with its American and European headquarters, the Vietnam office will serve as one of Yonhap's three key regional headquarters covering the globe.
Yonhap appointed Kim Sun-han, a senior journalist who served as a news correspondent to Vietnam twice, as the first head of the new regional headquarters.
Yonhap currently operates a network of full-time and part-time correspondents in the Southeast Asian and broader Asian regions, including Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Kazakhstan.
In Vietnam in particular, Yonhap has retained a correspondent for nearly two decades, directly covering the country's political, economic, social and cultural affairs.
"With the point in mind that Vietnam is the country best fit to become the bridgehead for the government's push of the new policy initiative for Southeast Asian nations, (Yonhap) decided to expand its Hanoi bureau to open the Southeast Asia headquarters here," Yonhap CEO Cho said.
"The Southeast Asia headquarters will do its best to bridge South Korea and Vietnam and to help promote exchange and cooperation between South Korea and Southeast Asian countries," he said.
The VNA head said, "The opening of the Southeast Asia headquarters by Yonhap is expected to upgrade by one notch its capacity to convey information."
"Vietnam is becoming the center of Southeast Asia ... I am sure the opening of Yonhap's Southeast Asia headquarters will serve as the foundation for an alliance relationship between South Korea and Vietnam," Ambassador Kim said.