Korean president to visit 3 Southeast Asian countries next month

By Yonhap

Published : Oct 12, 2017 - 11:47
Updated : Oct 12, 2017 - 13:21

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will make a three-nation Southeast Asia trip next month for regional forums where he is also expected to hold a series of bilateral summits with other global leaders, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday.

The trip is expected to begin Nov. 8 with a visit to Jakarta, Indonesia, where he will likely hold a summit with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo.

Cheong Wa Dae officials said the trip has not yet been officially set but that it will likely last three days if held.

Moon will head to Da Nang, Vietnam, on Nov. 10 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which will bring together leaders from 21 member economies, including US President Donald Trump.

Moon and the US leader are also scheduled to hold a bilateral summit in Seoul before they head to the Southeast Asian country for the annual APEC summit.

The White House earlier said Trump will be in the region from Nov. 3-14 on a trip that will also take him to China and Japan.

President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook (Yonhap)

The officials from Cheong Wa Dae said the exact schedule of Trump's visit to the country has not yet been fixed.

The bilateral talks between Moon and Trump will mark the third such discussions since the South Korean president took office in May. The leaders also held two three-way summits involving Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, one on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in July and another at the United Nations General Assembly last month.

Following his attendance at the APEC meeting, Moon will head to the Philippines on Nov. 12 for the East Asia Summit and an annual regional forum known as the ASEAN Plus Three summit, which will involve leaders from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as Japan and China.

It will mark Moon's first trip to the Southeast Asian region. He repeatedly stressed the need to enhance his country's diplomatic ties with countries in the region, partly to put an end to the North Korean nuclear issue.

"President Moon reaffirmed that his country will develop its relations with Indonesia and other ASEAN member countries to the level of relations with the four world powers," Moon's top press secretary Yoon Young-chan said earlier, referring to the United States, Japan, China and Russia.

Many Southeast Asian countries are said to maintain a close relationship with the communist North, which currently refuses to hold any type of discussions on ending its nuclear ambitions.

Pyongyang staged what is believed to have been its most powerful nuclear test so far last month. The latest nuclear test marked the sixth of its kind.

The South Korean president is widely expected to rally international support for U.N. Security Sanctions against the North, which he says are necessary to change the way the communist state behaves.

Moon will return home Nov. 15, according to Cheong Wa Dae. (Yonhap)


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