Moon to visit Vietnam ahead of North Korean summit

ANI | Updated: Mar 15, 2018 15:19 IST

Seoul [South Korea], Mar 15 (ANI): South Korean President Moon Jae-in will make his first official visit to Hanoi next week, a statement released by his presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Thursday read.

Moon's visit to Vietnam is seen as his efforts to rally regional support for his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as reported by the Yonhap news agency.

"Moon will embark on a three-day trip to Hanoi next Thursday," Yonhap quotes Kim Eui-kyeom spokesman of Cheong Wa Dae as saying.

He is scheduled to hold a bilateral summit with his Vietnamese counterpart, Tran Dai Quang and further meet other leaders including Nguyen Phy Trong, general secretary of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam.

Earlier in November 2017 Moon visited Vietnam to attend the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, Vietnam though the March visit will be his first official meeting with Vietnam's president.

Moon's trip to Hanoi also comes ahead of his scheduled summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un late next month.

"Vietnam is also a key partner for our New South Policy that President Moon announced during his ASEAN trip last year. We believe the visit to Vietnam this time will provide an important stepping stone for our efforts to diversify our foreign relations while also putting the New South Policy on the right track," Kim Eui-kyeom said in a statement quoted by Yonhap.

Moon had embarked on his New South Policy along with his New North Policy which seeks to expand the focus of Seoul's diplomatic efforts from the most powerful nations, such as the United States, to Asian and European nations.

Vietnam is only the second ASEAN nation to which Moon will make an official visit following his trip to Indonesia last year.

The South Korean president will head to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next Saturday on an apparent fence-mending visit.

Moon is scheduled to visit North Korea to hold a summit with President Moon Jae-in in April regarding the issue of denuclearisation in North Korea. (ANI)