The Korea Herald


Korean ‘caravan’ to cross Central Asia next week

By KH디지털2

Published : March 25, 2016 - 10:58

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A group of South Koreans will travel to Central Asia next week under the banner of promoting cross-regional ties amid tension with neighboring North Korea.

On Monday, a delegation of some 100 government officials, businessmen, scholars and artists will leave for Almaty, Kazakhstan, on the first leg of a two-nation, three-city tour that will later take them to Tajikistan, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Dubbed the South Korea-Central Asia Caravan, the annual event is now in its sixth year.

Under President Park Geun-hye, it has formed a key part of her Eurasia Initiative policy that aims to promote regional economic development and peace through expanded transport and infrastructure links.

Skepticism over the initiative has grown further, however, since South Korea halted a trilateral logistics project involving North Korea and Russia earlier this month to punish Pyongyang for its recent nuclear and missile tests.

"The caravan event is part of our government's visible efforts to realize the Eurasia Initiative, and it is expected to be an opportunity to further strengthen future-oriented and mutually beneficial private-public cooperation between South Korea and Central Asia across all sectors, including politics, business, academia and culture," the ministry said.

This year, the five-day event includes policy consultations with Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, a forum for small and medium-sized businesses, seminars on ways to boost bilateral cooperation and various cultural performances. (Yonhap)