A brand new centre for New Malden’s Korean community was touted as a fresh hope for peace and integration at its official launch this week.

High-ranking South Korean dignitaries, including the Ambassador to the UK and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, gave speeches at the new Korean Community Centre in Coombe Lane, Raynes Park.

Bona Shin, from the Korean Residents’ Society, said: “The grand opening lasted for a whole day and we had a beautiful performances from a magician and a choir group.”

Representing Kingston was the borough’s deputy mayor Councillor Ken Smith, who said he hoped the new centre would act at as a catalyst to further integration between the UK and the Korean Republic.

Coun Smith said: "I thanked them for bringing their culture into the Royal borough, stating that the music, art and craft, were an asset to the area and also the fine work done by Korean Community Centre and Theatre4All.

"Business ventures should look no further than investing in Kingston, who would welcome them as we have their people.

"I hope this centre would be a catalyst to bond the two nations together in peace and harmony."

Last week, Coun Smith entertained members of a delegation from the south-western Chinese town of Nanchang, which included its vice-mayor, Zhou Guan, and the director of the town’s television channel, TV Nanchang.