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(LEAD) FM Kang holds videoconference with overseas mission chiefs

All News 22:15 November 30, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with President Moon's comments in paras 4-5)

SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha presided over a videoconference late Monday with more than 180 South Korean ambassadors and consuls general to discuss ways to strengthen the roles of overseas diplomatic missions in the post-coronavirus era, her office said.

The meeting, which began at 9 p.m. (Seoul time), marked the opening of a three-day conference the foreign ministry is hosting virtually this week, with a series of online sessions involving officials at the overseas missions, businesspeople and the general public, the ministry said.

Ambassadors, consuls general and other diplomatic mission chiefs from 186 posts around the world attended Monday's online meeting. President Moon Jae-in and National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug also delivered video messages in a show of support.

"Regaining economic vitality is the most urgent task, and we need active economic diplomacy," Moon said in his message.

"I ask you to figure out each country's economic trends and ensure that the successes of 'K-quarantine' lead to increased exports," he added, referring to South Korea's aggressive response to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the conference, the participants discussed ways to enhance the functions of the overseas missions in a way that they would better adapt to the changing diplomatic and economic environments in the post-COVID-19 era, such as providing more adequate support for Korean citizens and businesspeople.

Running through Wednesday, the conference will feature various sessions, including virtual one-on-one meetings between businesspeople and officials from the overseas missions to hear their experience of and opinions about doing business abroad amid the pandemic and in the post-pandemic era.

As part of efforts to step up public diplomacy, the conference will also offer panel discussions, including an experts' session on the prospects for international relations after the November U.S. presidential election, in which about 100 citizens will also be able to take part via virtual links, the ministry said.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (top L) presides over a virtual meeting with 186 chiefs of South Korean overseas missions in this photo provided by her office on July 10, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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