BANGKOK: South Korean President Moon Jae-in will open a busy tour of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos another key diplomatic undertaking in his campaign to broaden and deepen Seoul’s partnerships with the South-East Asian bloc.
The trip which begins today will make him the first South Korean leader to visit Thailand and Myanmar in seven years and the first-ever South Korean leader to visit Laos.
During the six-day journey, Moon will fulfil his promise to visit all the 10 member states of the Association of South-East Asian Nations during his presidency under his administration’s New Southern Policy drive.
In Bangkok, his first destination, Moon is scheduled to hold summit talks with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha today.
Traditionally, the two sides have maintained close cooperation on economy, society, culture, national defence and arms development.
Seoul is now seeking to expand bilateral ties to science-technology and cutting-edge businesses, as Thailand has the second-biggest economy in the region after Indonesia.Moon plans to participate in a Bangkok event today, called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution Showcase, ” and present a vision for bilateral partnerships on digital life, bio-health, smart factory and future vehicles, said Joo Hyung-chul, a Cheong Wa Dae adviser for economic affairs.
On Wednesday, he will head to Myanmar for meetings with its state councillor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.
Then on Thursday, the president will make a state visit to Laos, where he will meet with President Bounnhang Vorachith and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.
Among the main issues to be discussed are partnerships on hydroelectric power, ICT and farm villages. — The Nation/ANN