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Yoon to embark on three-nation Central Asia trip this week

June 9, 2024 - 11:37 By Yonhap
President Yoon Suk Yeol (Left) and first lady Kim Keon Hee arrive at Seoul Airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul, on Nov. 26, 2023, after a visit to Britain and France. (The presidential office)

President Yoon Suk Yeol is set to pay state visits to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan this week to explore expanding cooperation in critical minerals and other key sectors.

Yoon will embark on the six-day trip Monday, accompanied by first lady Kim Keon Hee, and visit the resource-rich Central Asian nations through June 15, his office said.

On the first leg of the trip, Yoon will arrive in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, on Monday, hold a summit with the country's President Serdar Berdimuhamedow and attend a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony.

On Tuesday, Yoon will travel to Astana, Kazakhstan, for a three-day state visit that will include a meeting with ethnic Koreans and South Korean residents, and a summit with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries.

On Thursday, the president will head to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, also for a three-day state visit that will include a summit with the country's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and a bilateral business forum.

Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo said Yoon's visits will help create new business opportunities for South Korean companies in the energy, critical minerals and other areas and diversify cooperation in new areas, such as climate change response and technology.

During the tour, Yoon plans to announce the launch of a new initiative, called the "South Korea-Central Asia K-Silk Road," centering on a vision to jointly realize freedom, peace and prosperity, Kim said.