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S. Korean PM to attend King Charles III's coronation

May 2, 2023 - 15:12 By Son Ji-hyoung

A red London bus passes beneath Union flags on Regent Street, in central London on Sunday ahead of the coronation ceremony of King Charles III. (AFP-Yonhap)

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo is set to represent South Korea at the coronation ceremony of King Charles III on Saturday as part of his weeklong trip to Europe, the prime minister's office said Tuesday.

Han was invited to the coronation ceremony of Charles, which will take place at Westminster Abbey in London. At the age of 73, Charles will officially succeed his mother Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away in September.

Han will depart Seoul on Thursday to embark on an 8-day trip to Europe, accompanied by a number of government officials, including Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Do-hoon. The delegation led by Han is scheduled to attend a reception on the eve of the coronation.

According to Han's office, Han will be tasked with meeting representatives of the African Commonwealth during his London visit to seek respective bilateral ties and promote Korea's bid to host the Korea-Africa Special Summit in 2024, as well as the World Expo in Busan in 2030.

President Yoon Suk Yeol attended Elizabeth's state funeral at Westminster Abbey in September.

Alongside the United Kingdom, Han will visit Sweden, Austria and Romania through May 10.

From Sunday to Monday, Han will visit Stockholm to hold talks with his Swedish counterpart Ulf Kristersson to seek continued support for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Han's two-day visit to Austria to meet Austrian Prime Minister Karl Nehammer will follow as the two countries mark the 131th anniversary of trade ties.

The two countries are poised for a full-fledged opening of their respective Korean Cultural Centers to promote cultural exchange with Korea.

Han's last destination will be Romania, where he will participate in talks with his Romanian counterpart Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca in the first such meeting in 16 years.

The Han-led delegation will return to Seoul on May 11.