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Parliamentary speaker leaves for South Africa

All Headlines 17:29 March 14, 2016

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's National Assembly speaker has left for South Africa for talks with parliamentary officials in a move to strengthen ties with lawmakers from the African country, his office said Monday.

The trip marks the first official visit to the country by a South Korean parliamentary speaker.

Besides visiting South Africa, Chung Ui-hwa will visit Zambia during the 10-day trip to take part in the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) assembly.

Chung plans to give a speech on how young people can make their way into politics in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, his office said.

The assembly, which is set to run from March 19 through 23 in Lusaka, will bring together more than 650 lawmakers from around the world, according to the IPU. The international organization of parliaments has 167 members and 10 associate members.

Chung is set to meet with his Kenyan counterpart on the sidelines of the assembly to help South Korean firms play a greater role in Kenya's massive infrastructure project. The projects also involve South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The speaker, moreover, plans to meet with his Indian counterpart to discuss ways to further boost bilateral relations.

The IPU said lawmakers attending the conference will seek to identify ways to reverse low voter turnouts and a waning youth interest in formal politics.

"We as parliamentarians must ensure that we breathe new life into politics and parliaments, with young people at the heart of that process," IPU President Saber Chowdhury said on the website of the IPU.

entropy@yna.co.kr
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