SEOUL: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrived in the South Korean capital, Seoul, on Friday (Nov 22) where he is making a bilateral visit. He will also attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-ROK Commemorative Summit, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.
He will meet President Moon Jae-in, before going to Busan to attend the commemorative summit.
In Seoul, President Moon will host an official lunch for Mr Lee. Both leaders will also witness the signing and exchanges of Memoranda of Understanding in areas such as manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, smart cities and cyber-cooperation.
In Busan, Mr Lee and other ASEAN leaders will join President Moon in commemorating the 30th anniversary of dialogue relations between the grouping and South Korea.
At the Summit, the leaders will take stock of the ASEAN-ROK relationship and discuss ways to strengthen linkages, the PMO said.
“They will also exchange views on regional and international issues,” a spokesperson said.
According to the ASEAN website, the 10-member grouping and South Korea initiated sectoral dialogue relations in November 1989. South Korea was accorded a full Dialogue Partner status at the 24th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 1991. The partnership was elevated to a Summit level in 1997.
Mr Lee will be accompanied by his wife Ho Ching, Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Tan Wu Meng, and other Government officials.
During Mr Lee’s absence, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will be Acting Prime Minister.