August 21, 2012 09:32
Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla Miranda will become the 12th foreign leader to become an honorary citizen of Seoul. Chinchilla (54) arrived in Korea on Sunday to meet with President Lee Myung-bak and leaves on Wednesday. She receives the honorary citizenship from Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon at City Hall on Tuesday afternoon.
Chinchilla is the first directly elected female president of Costa Rica and the fifth in Latin America. She came to office by pitching a policy of moderate socialism.
When they meet, Park wants to propose exchange programs between Seoul and San Jose, the Costa Rican capital, in education, human rights and environmental conservation.
Costa Rica covers an area of 51,100 sq. km, just a quarter of the size of Korea, and was home to 4.66 million people as of 2010. Its per-capita gross national income is US$10,085.
A total of 666 foreigners from 92 countries have received honorary Seoul citizenships since 1958, including Islam Karimov, president of Uzbekistan, former Korean World Cup soccer coach Guus Hiddink, and U.S. football player Hines Ward, whose mother is Korean.
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