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Blinken set to arrive in S. Korea to attend democracy summit

By Yonhap

Published : March 17, 2024 - 10:36

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Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul (Left) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pose for a photo at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 29. (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul (Left) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pose for a photo at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 29. (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was set to arrive in South Korea on Sunday to attend a session of the Summit for Democracy, a US-led multination gathering formed to boost solidarity and shared values among democratic countries.

Blinken is expected to arrive at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 60 kilometers south of Seoul, for a two-day visit that will also include talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul, their second meeting in less than a month after the earlier one held in Washington last month.

Both the democracy forum session and the meeting with Cho are scheduled for Monday.

Seoul's foreign ministry said Cho and Blinken are expected to discuss democracy cooperation, ways to strengthen the alliance between the two countries, and other issues of mutual concern, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in the region.

The meeting between Cho and Blinken comes only weeks after the two met one-on-one in Washington while Cho was visiting the United States late last month. It was their first in-person talks since Cho took office in January.

Blinken is also expected to pay a visit to President Yoon Suk Yeol.

The Summit for Democracy is led by the US to reinforce the democratic bloc with like-minded countries in the face of various challenges posed by a rise in authoritarianism.

South Korea is hosting this year's summit, its third such session, set for March 18-20.

The ministerial sessions will be held on the first day, followed by panel discussions involving civic groups the next day. The leaders' session will take place virtually on the last day.

US President Joe Biden is set to attend the summit virtually. (Yonhap)