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Foreign minister heads to Vietnam to celebrate 30th anniversary of bilateral ties

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin speaks at a ministry meeting in Seoul on Oct. 11. (Yonhap)
South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin speaks at a ministry meeting in Seoul on Oct. 11. (Yonhap)

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin is to meet Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Tuesday, during a trip aimed at discussing ways to strengthen their bilateral relations, now extending to 30 years.

Park was set to take off for Vietnam on Monday.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Park will pay a courtesy call to the Vietnamese president and hold a bilateral foreign ministers’ meeting Tuesday with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son, who invited him. It is the first time for a high-ranking official to visit the country this year.

In their bilateral talk, the two ministers are expected to discuss ways to expand cultural and economic exchanges to bolster bilateral ties. The ministerial talk would also cover the regional agenda involving relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Park is likely to seek Vietnam's support for South Korea’s efforts to stabilize the situation on the Korean Peninsula, where military tension has been escalating due to the North’s missile provocations.

They are also expected to coordinate on details of their respective leaders’ planned trip to the Korea-ASEAN Summit that will be held in Cambodia next month. Cambodia currently holds the chairmanship of the ASEAN bloc.

During his visit, Park will also hold a conference with Korean residents and businesses in Vietnam and deliver a speech at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry has raised hopes for Park’s meeting to pave the way for South Korea to expand high-level official exchanges and boost cooperation with Vietnam as Seoul’s core ASEAN partner.

South Korea and Vietnam established bilateral diplomatic ties on Dec. 22, 1992. Vietnam forged diplomatic ties with North Korea early on in 1950, when it was formerly North Vietnam. The country also provided its capital Hanoi as the venue for the second summit between then-US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2019.

In a reception celebrating the 30th anniversary of bilateral ties on Aug. 26 in Seoul, Park underscored that the Korean government puts a great importance in strengthening relations with the 10-member ASEAN bloc and called Vietnam its “core ASEAN partner.” The reception was also held in celebration of Vietnam’s 77th National Day, which fell on Sept. 2.

Delivering a congratulatory speech at the event, Park assessed how the two countries have “speedily” developed their bilateral ties across various fields.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)

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