King Charles is preparing for the state visit of by The President of the Republic of Korea and the First Lady later this month.
A statement issued by the royal family said the monarch visited New Malden’s Korean community ahead of the visit.
It said the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has one of the largest expatriate communities of Koreans in Europe, particularly focused around the New Malden area, which is sometimes described as Koreatown. It is reputed to be one of the most densely populated areas of Koreans outside South Korea.
There are estimated to be around 10,000 Koreans in New Malden itself and up to 20,000 Koreans living in surrounding areas. As well as the Korean population, New Malden also has a substantial wider Southeast Asian population and is the most ethnically diverse area in the borough.
The king met community groups at New Malden Methodist Church and heard about Korea’s culture and cuisine, before visiting a stall showcasing a selection of Korean specialities.
The statement said the monarch also visited the nearby Cake & Bing Soo Shop to meet young Koreans. The King watched a contemporary dance performance and listened to the local London Korean Hummingbirds Choir sing the traditional song ‘Beautiful Country’,as well as viewing an exhibition on the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, organised by the Korean British Cultural Exchange in collaboration with Kingston Museum.