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S. Korea to open cultural center in Hungary

South Korea will open a new cultural center in Budapest, Hungary, this week, the culture ministry here said Thursday.

The culture center is scheduled to open on Friday in the center of the Hungarian capital with a ceremony to be attended by about 100 dignitaries from both countries, including South Korea’s Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik.

It will become South Korea’s 22nd cultural center worldwide and the eighth in Europe, joining centers in France, Britain, Germany, Russia, Poland, Spain and Turkey, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said.

The ministry plans to increase the number of overseas Korean cultural centers to 28 by the end of this year. The recent popularity of Korean pop music and TV dramas, known as “hallyu,” has increased the world’s interest in Korean culture.

The boom has been strong mainly in other Asian nations such as Japan, China and Taiwan in recent years, but expanded to become popular in Europe and North and South American nations last year.

The two-story cultural center will feature a library and halls for sampling Korean food, learning the Korean language and experiencing Korean computer games. Visitors can also listen to K-pop albums and practice taekwondo on the basement floor, according to the ministry. (Yonhap News)