US President Donald Trump‘s state visit to South Korea is to be his shortest among the three East Asian nations, lasting about 24 hours, according to an itinerary revealed by Cheong Wa Dae on Friday.
Trump, who will kick off his tour in Japan on Sunday, is to arrive to South Korea on Tuesday, and leave the following day to meet with Chinese leaders. Trump will stay in China from Wednesday to Nov. 10, when he then leaves for Danang, Vietnam.
While Seoul highlights the fact that South Korea is the only one of the three East Asian nations to receive the US president on a state visit -- the others being official visits -- the duration of his stay has raised eyebrows among the country’s political circles.
US President Donald Trump. (AP-Yonhap)
Trump is the first US president to make a state visit since President George H.W. Bush in 1992. Visits by US presidents since then have taken the form of official visits.
Trump will begin his short trip to South Korea with a visit to Camp Humphreys, the largest overseas US military base.
According to Cheong Wa Dae, Trump will touch down in South Korea around noon on Tuesday, where he will be greeted by South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-hwa and Ambassador to the US Cho Yoon-je.
Trump will then visit Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, before going on to Cheong Wa Dae to hold his third bilateral summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in.
At the US military base, Trump will be briefed by South Korean and US officers, and attend a luncheon with the two countries’ troops.
“The Pyeongtaek base is the largest overseas US military base in the world, and is symbolic of the future of South Korea-US alliance,” deputy chief of South Korea’s National Security Council Nam Gwan-pyo said.
“(The visit) will be an opportunity to show President Trump that South Korea is making significant contributions to the alliance.”
According to Seoul, South Korea shouldered about 92 percent of the $10 billion cost -- including for land and construction -- involved in establishing the base. Seoul’s emphasis on the significance of the installation is thought to be in response to Trump’s claims that South Korea’s financial contributions to the alliance have been lacking.
The summit meeting between the two leaders will be followed by an extended summit involving the two presidents’ top aides, and then a stroll through the grounds of Cheong Wa Dae.
The summit meetings are expected to focus on the North Korean nuclear issue, South Korea-US alliance and trade issues.
Moon and Trump will then hold a joint press conference at the presidential office. In the evening of Tuesday, Moon will host a gala dinner, with performances of classical and traditional Korean music and a K-pop concert.
Trump will open his second and final day in Seoul by meeting US Embassy officials and their families, before going to meet with National Assembly Speaker Rep. Chung Se-kyun ahead of his address to the parliament.
Trump will be the first US president to address the South Korean parliament since President Bill Clinton, who gave a speech during his visit in 1993.
“A US president, who is making a state visit for the first time in 25 years, addressing the National Assembly is very significant,” Nam said.
“This will be the only chance for President Trump to give a speech on the political situation, and his policy vision concerning the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia during his Asian tour.”
Nam said that Trump will wrap up his visit by paying respects at the National Cemetery in Seoul.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org