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Lee’s brother to visit Latin America as envoy

Lee Sang-deuk, former parliamentary vice speaker and elder brother of President Lee Myung-bak, left for South America on Monday as a special presidential envoy.

Lee is to attend the Peruvian presidential inauguration ceremony Thursday and deliver President Lee’s personal letter to the new President Ollanta Humala, officials said.

He is also expected to hold talks with Humala over a wide range of issues including the Korea-Peru Free Trade Agreement, which was signed this March and took effect earlier this month.

Lee will then move on to neighboring Bolivia and Ecuador for a visit.

In Bolivia, he is to hold negotiations with Bolivian President Evo Morales on the trade in lithium, a major natural resource in the area.

“Our plan is to persuade Bolivia to establish a joint lithium battery company, through which Bolivia is to provide natural lithium and Korea battery components,” said officials.

“For this, Lee is likely to sign a memorandum of understanding during his visit this week.”

In Ecuador, he will promote the construction of a solar energy power station.

The president’s brother has paid frequent visits to the Latin American region over the past few years, focusing on Bolivia and Peru in particular. This time, it will be his sixth official trip to the area.

He was accompanied by Park Dae-won, president of the Korea International Cooperation Agency, and Reps. Kim Sung-tae and Joo Kwang-deok of the ruling Grand National Party, officials said.

By Bae Hyun-jung (