Go to Contents Go to Navigation

Senior UAE official to visit Seoul amid speculations over soured ties

All News 14:08 January 07, 2018

SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- A high-ranking official of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will visit South Korea this week amid snowballing speculations about bilateral feuds over nuclear cooperation or military ties, informed sources said Sunday.

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi, is expected to arrive in Seoul on early Monday to discuss pending issues between the two countries, they said.

He is one of the closest aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. He was present at the crown prince's meeting with Korean presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok in Abu Dhabi early last month.

Al Mubarak's trip comes amid a nagging controversy in South Korea over Im's real mission.

The Korean government only said Im discussed ways to improve bilateral ties. But opposition politicians and media raised suspicions that his trip was to allay the UAE's concerns about the impact President Moon Jae-in's nuclear-free policy will have on deals for South Korea to build and manage nuclear reactors in the Middle East country.

Speculations also emerged that his visit was to address the UAE's grievances over Seoul's alleged attempts to reduce its troop presence in the country or revise "secret" mutual military agreements signed under Moon's predecessors.

Nothing has been known about Al Mubarak's mission during the upcoming visit.

Some sources said he may arrange Moon's possible visit to the UAE. During phone talks in June, Moon told the crown prince that he hoped to attend the ceremony to mark the completion of a nuclear reactor in the country built by South Korea.

Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!