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S. Korean president to visit 3 Central Asian countries this week

All Headlines 18:49 April 14, 2019

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in will embark on a week-long trip this week to three Central Asian countries to boost economic ties and to garner support for peace efforts on the Korean Peninsula, his office Cheong Wa Dae said Sunday.

Moon will leave home on Tuesday to make state visits to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan -- in that order -- over eight days. It will be his first visit to the region since taking office in 2017.

Moon's trip will begin with a three-day stay in Ashgabat, where he will hold a summit with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.

On the table will be a wide range of issues, such as ways to boost bilateral economic cooperation and the active advance of Korean companies into the country, said Kim Hyun-chong, a deputy director of the National Security Office at Cheong Wa Dae, during a press briefing.

Moon is also scheduled to visit a petrochemical plant in Kiyanly, on the west coast of the country, which was built by a global consortium led by South Korea's Hyundai Engineering Co., as the Central Asian country's first such plant, he noted.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)

The South Korean president will head to Uzbekistan on Thursday for a four-day stay, where he plans to have talks with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and meet with parliamentarians, which aim at upgrading bilateral relations and boosting ties in various sectors, such as medical and tech industries, according to the official.

Moon's three-nation tour will end in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan that was recently renamed Nur-Sultan.

There, he will hold a summit with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to share the Central Asian nation's denuclearization experiences while discussing ways to promote mutual cooperation, Cheong Wa Dae noted.

Moon is also scheduled to attend a repatriation ceremony for the remains of two Korean independence fighters who were buried in Kazakhstan, while pushing to bring back the remains of Gen. Hong Bum-do, a legendary fighter against the Japanese colonial rule in early 1900s.

Such events hold particular significance at a time when South Korea marks the centennial anniversary of the independent movement against Japan, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Moon will return home April 23.

"This visit is expected to further strengthen historic and cultural ties with the Central Asian countries and to expand South Korea's economic horizons under the new Northern policy drive," Moon's economic adviser, Joo Hyung-chul, told reporters.

Kim Hyun-chong (L), a deputy director of the National Security Office at Cheong Wa Dae, and economic adviser Joo Hyung-chul prepare for a press briefing on April 14, 2019, regarding President Moon Jae-in's planned trip to Central Asian nations this week. (Yonhap)


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