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Yoon to attend APEC, visit UK, France, Netherlands

Nov. 8, 2023 - 18:31 By Shin Ji-hye
Kim Tae-hyo, first deputy director of the National Security Office, gives a briefing at the presidential office in Seoul on Wednesday regarding President Yoon Suk Yeol’s upcoming trip the US, the UK, France and the Netherlands. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol is slated to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the United States next week, to be followed by visits to the United Kingdom and France later in the month and the Netherlands in December, the presidential office said Wednesday.

Yoon will visit San Francisco from Nov. 15-18 to attend the APEC summit, during which he will share South Korea’s stance on various global issues, Deputy National Security Director Kim Tae-hyo said in a press briefing. This is Yoon's first time attending the APEC summit.

The summit will be followed by a state visit to the UK on Nov. 20-23, where he will be the first state guest invited by King Charles III since his coronation this year. Yoon will also meet with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Nov. 22.

Yoon will then head to France for the last round of canvassing efforts to support Busan's bid to host the World Expo 2030. The final vote on the host city takes place on Nov. 28.

On Dec. 12, Yoon continues on to the Netherlands upon an invitation of King Willem-Alexander for a two-day state visit.

First lady Kim Keon Hee will accompany Yoon on all the visits.

While attending APEC's first session, Yoon plans to emphasize the need for transition to clean energy, overcoming the climate crisis, Korea’s contribution and solidarity with APEC member countries, according to Kim. During the second summit on Nov. 17 held under a more casual format, Yoon will share views on a multilateral trading system, strengthening regional supply chains and digital ethics.

On the occasion of the APEC summit, Yoon is expected to hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of member countries and invited countries. Chinese President Xi Jinping is also scheduled to attend. The presidential office said nothing has been confirmed of any bilateral meeting between Yoon and Xi.

Other itineraries while in San Francisco include meeting with Korean compatriots, residents and experts in the technology field. Yoon will also attend the APEC CEO investment declaration ceremony.

Two days after returning home on Nov. 18, Yoon will fly to the UK.

Yoon is set to deliver a speech to the British Parliament on Nov. 21. The following day, he will hold a summit with Prime Minister Sunak. The two leaders plan to adopt the Korea-UK Accord, which will outline the direction of future cooperation between the two countries, according to Yoon’s office.

On Tuesday, King Charles III expressed his anticipation for Yoon’s state visit to Britain during his first parliamentary speech.

"I look forward to welcoming His Excellency the President of the Republic of Korea and Mrs. Kim Keon Hee for a state visit later this month," he said, referring to South Korea by its official name.

Yoon will then travel to Paris for a four-day visit, where he will lead a comprehensive diplomatic campaign for Busan's Expo bid by organizing a luncheon and reception for representatives of BIE member countries, the office said.

In December, Yoon will be the first South Korean president to make a state visit to the Netherlands.

After attending an official welcome ceremony in Amsterdam, Yoon will travel to The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government, to hold a joint meeting with the speakers of the Senate and the House of Representatives and a meeting with the prime minister.