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President Moon embarks on five-nation Europe tour

Oct. 13, 2018 - 10:53 By Bae Hyun-jung
President Moon Jae-in on Saturday started his nine-day tour to five European states to attend a series of international meetings and bilateral summits with key countries, according to presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

Moon departed from Seoul Air Base in Seongnam on Saturday morning, headed for Paris. He will then move on to Italy, Vatican, Belgium, and Denmark.

During the nine-day trip, the president is slated to sit in bilateral summits in France, Italy and Denmark, as well as with the European Union, seeking to build tangible partnership with each of the corresponding states.

The itineraries also include a number of multilateral global agendas, such as the Asia-Europe Meeting in Brussels and the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals -- P4G -- summit in Copenhagen.

The South Korean leader will endeavor to explain the Pyongyang Joint Statement, which was the outcome of the latest third inter-Korean summit held in North Korea, and urge for European states’ understanding and support for Korean Peninsula’s peace and denuclearization, officials said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (right) is set to meet with Pope Francis during his nine-day trip to Europe. (Yonhap)

The most symbolic place for Moon’s peninsular peace message is likely to be Vatican, where he will meet with Pope Francis.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, amid the recent thawing mood and series of inter-Korean summits, has invited Pope Francis for a visit, marking the first case in the reclusive regime’s history.

Kim’s invitation will be relayed by Moon, a Roman Catholic, during his visit to Vatican, according to presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom.

The president will depart from Copenhagen on Oct. 20 to return back home.

By Bae Hyun-jung (