Trump to make first state visit by US leader in 25 years

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : Oct 17, 2017 - 16:50
  • Updated : Oct 19, 2017 - 10:00
US President Donald Trump’s visit to Korea next month will take the form of a state visit, marking the first state visit by a US leader since 1992.

According to Seoul’s presidential office, Trump will arrive early on Nov. 7 in Seoul, where he will attend welcome ceremonies and hold a summit meeting.

“The schedule was agreed to in consideration of President Trump’s flight schedules, and in consideration of ceremony schedules,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun said Tuesday. 

US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at the White House on Monday. Yonhap

He added that although the two sides had initially discussed arranging a three-day schedule for Trump’s visit, the plans were reduced as a three-day schedule would involve the US president arriving in the late hours of Nov. 6.

“The details are being discussed, but (Trump) will arrive on a state visit, and attend the official welcome ceremony (at Cheong Wa Dae), summit talks, and hold a joint press briefing.”

The Nov. 7 South Korea-US summit will be the third one-on-one meeting between Moon and Trump. As with their previous meetings, they will discuss issues related to North Korea and the free trade agreement between Seoul and Washington.

With North Korea disregarding the international community’s warnings and sanctions against its nuclear and missile programs, the US has been raising the heat on Pyongyang.

As for the South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, the two sides are in the process of modifying the deal, which Trump has referred to as a “terrible deal” on a number of occasions.

Park added that Seoul and Washington are working on arranging a parliamentary address by Trump. Park said that if the US leader addresses South Korea’s parliament, he is expected to address issues surrounding North Korea, the alliance with South Korea and his policy vision for Northeast Asia.

If Trump’s parliamentary address is arranged, he will be the first US leader to do so since former President Bill Clinton, who addressed the parliament in 1993.

Trump’s visit is part of the US leader’s tour of Asian nations from Nov. 3 to 14, during which he will visit four other countries in addition to South Korea.

Trump’s tour will kick off in Japan with a summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe scheduled for Nov. 5. Trump will then visit South Korea and move on to China and Vietnam, before wrapping up the tour in the Philippines, where he will meet with ASEAN leaders.

According to South Korean government sources, a state visit is the highest respect paid to a foreign leader. Before Trump, former US President George H.W. Bush was the last US leader to make a state visit to South Korea in 1992.

State visits differ from official visits -- the form of all US presidents’ visits between 1992 and this year -- in a number of ways.

Marks of respect afforded only to foreign leaders on state visits include a delegation of high-level officials at the visiting leader’s arrival and departure, and an official gala dinner hosted by the South Korean president.

In addition, the number of state visits is limited to one for each foreign leader during the five-year term of a South Korean president. In comparison, there are no limits on the number of other forms of visits.

By Choi He-suk (

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