By Xu Aiying
President Yoon Suk Yeol and first lady Kim Keon Hee will conduct a diplomatic offensive through year’s end by visiting the four countries of the U.S., U.K., France and Netherlands.
Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo on Nov. 8 released the president’s travel schedule at a news briefing held at the Office of the President in Seoul.
President Yoon will visit San Francisco from Nov. 15-18 to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit for the first time since taking office.
On the first day on Nov. 15, he will attend the APEC CEO Summit, give the keynote speech there and attend a welcoming reception.
On Nov. 16, the president will stress solidarity among APEC member economies and Korea’s contributions to the global transition to clean energy and overcoming the climate crisis in the first session dubbed “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All.”
In the second session on Nov. 17, he will emphasize the need for APEC cooperation in restoring the multilateral trading system, boosting the connectivity of regional supply chains and setting digital ethics norms while highlighting Korea’s role in these efforts.
From Nov. 20-23, President Yoon will make a state visit to the U.K. at the invitation of British King Charles III, who will make the president his first state guest after the monarch’s coronation in May.
President Yoon on Nov. 21 will start his schedule in London by attending an official welcoming ceremony and a welcoming luncheon hosted by the king, laying a wreath at the Korean War Memorial in the British capital and visiting Westminster Abbey. That same day, the president will give a speech to the U.K. Parliament that looks back on the history of bilateral relations and pledges for the future.
On Nov. 22, President Yoon and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will hold a bilateral summit on raising strategic cooperation in sectors like the digital, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and nuclear power sectors. The president the next day will visit Churchill War Rooms, where British Prime Minister Winston Churchill led his country during World War II, and conclude his trip with a farewell to King Charles III.
Afterwards, President Yoon will fly to Paris to conduct a last-ditch effort to promote Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo from Nov. 23-24. Ahead of the Nov. 28 announcement of the event’s host city by the Paris-based International Bureau of Expositions (BIE), he will convey Korea’s strong intent to host the expo and preparation status.
“President Yoon’s attendance at APEC will serve as an opportunity to highlight his ‘globally responsible diplomacy’ that has rapidly developed this year,” Deputy Adviser Kim said. “His state visit to the U.K. is expected to deepen multifaceted collaboration and solidarity between both sides and raise their strategic cooperation to a higher level.”
“Through his visit to France, President Yoon will directly engage representatives from BIE member countries who will actually vote on site (in the BIE General Assembly),” he added. “We anticipate that this will prove effective in persuading undecided and swing voters.”
For his final trip of this year, President Yoon will make a state visit from Dec. 12-13 to the Netherlands at the invitation of Dutch King Willem Alexander. As the first Korean leader to make such a visit to the Northern European nation since both sides formed diplomatic ties in 1961, the president will stay in The Hague.