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(LEAD) FM to visit Vietnam later this week

Diplomacy 16:37 September 15, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 5-8, byline)
By Kim Seung-yeon

SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will visit Vietnam later this week for talks with her counterpart about cooperation in coronavirus responses and other bilateral issues, her office said Tuesday.

Kang will leave for Hanoi on Thursday and plans to hold talks with Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh the following day, the ministry said.

"The ministers will discuss cooperation in coronavirus responses, ways to promote the two countries' strategic cooperation partnerships and regional and international situations," ministry spokesperson Kim In-chul said in a press briefing.

She will also pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

In the talks with Minh, Kang is expected to try to persuade the Vietnamese government to create an expedited entry system for essential travelers, such as businesspeople, to help them continue their overseas work amid the pandemic, a foreign ministry official said.

The two sides will also discuss resuming regular flights between the countries.

Seoul has been trying to persuade foreign countries to establish such entry exceptions for South Korean businesspeople. China, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Singapore have so far created "fast-track" entry programs.

About 9,000 South Koreans, mostly businesspeople, have been allowed to enter Vietnam in exception to entry curbs since the virus outbreak took hold, the ministry official said.

Kang's visit to Hanoi will be her second trip abroad since the global spread of COVID-19 put a curb on diplomatic travels. She visited Germany early last month in the first such trip since the pandemic.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks during an ASEAN Plus Three meeting held via videoconferencing in this photo provided by her office on Sept. 9, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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