President Moon Jae-in will leave on a nine-day trip to Europe October 13-21 to visit France, Italy, the Vatican, Belgium and Denmark.
President Moon will first make a state and official visit to France and Italy, October 13-18 respectively. Summit discussions are expected to focus on how to upgrade bilateral friendship and cooperation into forward-looking relations.
Consultations with France, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, will focus on how to promote strategic cooperation in foreign affairs and national security. Discussions with Italy, a country with cutting-edge technology and new industry capabilities, will concentrate on how to step up cooperation to create new growth engines.
President Moon will make an official visit to the Vatican October 17-18 to reaffirm its blessing and support for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and engage in discussions on how to promote future cooperation. Importantly, the President will convey Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un’s intent to invite Pope Francis to visit North Korea and his comment “a papal visit to Pyeongyang will be enthusiastically welcomed.”
Last month at Cheonji, Baekdusan Mountain’s Crater Lake, Chairman Kim met with South Korea’s Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, who visited the North on behalf of the Korean Catholic Church. When the Archbishop said that he would inform the Holy See that South and North Korea are inching toward reconciliation and peace, Chairman Kim expressed his hope that the Archbishop would do so.
President Moon will next move to Belgium, where he will participate in the 12th
Asia-Europe Meeting October 18-19. On the sidelines of ASEM, the President is scheduled to hold a Korea-EU summit with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
At the coming ASEM, to be held under the theme "Europe and Asia: Global Partners for Global Challenges,” President Moon will explain how Korea's inclusive growth strategy can contribute to sustainable growth and the development of the international community. At the Korea-EU summit, President Moon will have an extensive discussion on ways to deepen and further develop Korea-EU strategic partnership in this the 55th anniversary of the establishment of Korea-EU diplomatic relations.
By attending these summits, President Moon is expected to reaffirm the international community’s support for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.
Afterword, the President is scheduled to attend the inaugural P4G (Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030) Copenhagen Summit 2018 in Denmark on October 20 and begin his official visit to the Scandinavian nation.
At the P4G meeting, President Moon is expected to stress the importance of promoting private-public cooperation and assisting developing countries to achieve global goals in relation to climate change and sustainable development. The President is also scheduled to introduce Korea’s policies, roles and contributions to this end.
During his consultations in Denmark, the President intends to focus on climate change responses and ways to promote forward-looking cooperation in science and technology, including biotechnology.