By Park Gil-ja and Lee Hana
President Moon Jae-in from March 10-16 will make official visits to Brunei, Malaysia and Cambodia, Cheong Wa Dae announced on March 4.
“The aim is to create a community that strives for peace and prosperity with our ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) partners. We hope to further improve our relations with ASEAN member states and look forward to a successful launch of the special summit with ASEAN in Seoul,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said in a written statement.
In his first overseas tour of the year, the president seeks to bolster ties with the three member countries of ASEAN as key partners for his administration’s New Southern Policy.
The first destination will be Brunei from March 10-12 for a summit with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. The president will discuss holding a special Korea-ASEAN summit with Brunei and promote multilateral cooperation.
Proposed by President Moon last year, the summit is expected to be held in Seoul later this year.
The second stop for the president is Malaysia from March 12-14. In Kuala Lumpur, he will hold a summit with Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and separate talks with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on improving bilateral relations.
The final leg of the president’s Southeast Asian tour is from March 14-16 in Cambodia, where he will hold talks with King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen.