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(LEA) Moon to meet former U.S. President Bush this week

Diplomacy 17:03 May 19, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with plan for painted portrait of Roh in last 5 paras; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in will greet former U.S. President George W. Bush at Cheong Wa Dae later this week, Moon's office announced Sunday.

Moon is scheduled to meet Bush on Thursday morning, as the former president plans to attend a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of former President Roh Moo-hyun's death. It's to be held at Bongha Village in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, at 2 p.m. that day.

Roh served as South Korea's president from 2003 to 2008, and he had summit talks with Bush.

Bush will reportedly visit South Korea at the invitation of a local defense firm, Poongsan Corp., which is known to have close ties with the Bush family.

Bush expressed his intent to participate in the memorial service through the company, according to its organizers.

This file photo, taken on Sept. 7, 2007, shows then-South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun (L) and then-U.S. President George W. Bush. (Yonhap)

Participating in the ceremony, Bush is expected to unveil a portrait of Roh that he painted himself.

About two months earlier, Bush conveyed a message of his desire to paint it, according to a former aide to Roh.

"Accordingly, we sent more than 10 pictures (of Roh)," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Bush is likely to deliver the portrait to former First Lady Kwon Yang-sook.

Since his retirement in early 2009, Bush has painted portraits of world leaders and exhibited them.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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