Moon to seek support for Olympics, inter-Korean dialogue in bilateral summits

By Yonhap

Published : Feb 7, 2018 - 09:40
Updated : Feb 7, 2018 - 09:40

South Korean President Moon Jae-in was set for a series of bilateral summits this week, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday, in what it earlier called Moon's Olympic schedule that may also include talks with North Korea's ceremonial head of state.

Moon was scheduled to hold a bilateral summit with Julie Payette, the governor general of Canada, at his office later in the day, followed by a summit with the president of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

The South Korean leader's Olympic schedule began Monday when he traveled to the eastern city of Gangneung for the 132nd annual session of the International Olympic Committee. Gangneung, located 230 kilometers from Seoul, is set to host all ice games in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games that will be held from Friday through Feb. 25.

President Moon Jae-in, left, and IOC President Thomas Bach. (Yonhap)


On Tuesday, Moon held a bilateral summit with President Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia at his office in Seoul, in which the South Korean president asked for support for inter-Korean dialogue that he says could lead to a resumption of international talks on ending North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

"We are hoping North Korea's participation in the Olympics and its dispatch of a high-level delegation will help improve inter-Korean ties and create an opportunity to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue in the future," Moon told the Estonian head of state, according to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.

North Korea agreed to take part in the PyeongChang Olympics after three rounds of inter-Korean dialogue that also marked the first of its kind in more than two years.

Pyongyang has also said its official delegation will be headed by Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly. Kim, considered a titular head of the communist state, will be the highest ranking North Korean official ever to visit South Korea.

Cheong Wa Dae earlier said it was considering a possible meeting between Moon and the North Korean official, noting the two will likely run into each other at various Olympic functions that include an art performance by a North Korean art troupe, scheduled to be held in Seoul on Sunday.

The South Korean leader is also expected to seek international support for inter-Korean dialogue, as well as his efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, in his bilateral meetings with other global leaders.

Moon is scheduled to hold a bilateral summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in PyeongChang on Friday, one day after he hosts a dinner for US Vice President Mike Pence at his office Cheong Wa Dae.

Other global leaders scheduled to hold a bilateral summit or talks with Moon include the president of Latvia and the president of Slovenia. Moon is also scheduled to meet prime ministers of Norway and the Netherlands and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to Cheong Wa Dae. (Yonhap)

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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation