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Swedish king to make 1st official visit to S. Korea this month

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf will make his first official visit to South Korea later this month at the invitation of President Lee Myung-bak, the Swedish embassy in Seoul said Tuesday.

The king and his wife, Queen Silvia, are scheduled to arrive in Seoul on May 29 for a four-day visit that includes talks with Lee, said Bak Hyun-jung, the embassy's chief press officer, in a statement.

It will be the first time that Gustaf visits South Korea since he became the king in 1973, although he met with Lee in 2008 in Seoul during an official visit as the head of the World Scout Foundation, officials said.

The king's official visit "is expected to strengthen friendly and cooperative relations" between South Korea and Sweden, the statement said.

A delegation of government officials and corporate executives, including Enterprise Minister Annie Loof and Kenneth Bengtsson, the chief executive of ICA AB, Sweden's largest retail group, will accompany the king on the visit, according to the statement.

During the trip, the king plans to visit the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas and tour the World Expo in the southern port city of Yeosu, it said.

(Yonhap News)

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