Belgian King Philippe and Queen Matilde (Yonhap News)
By Park Gil-ja and Kim Minji
Belgian King Philippe will visit Korea from March 26-28 and hold a bilateral summit with President Moon Jae-in on March 26, Cheong Wa Dae said on March 8.
The visit will be the first to Korea by a Belgian king since King Baudouin’s trip in 1992. King Philippe will also be the first European monarch to make a state visit since President Moon's inauguration.
A large delegation will accompany the king, including about 80 corporate heads and 15 university presidents. He will also attend a Korea-Belgium business forum, a smart city seminar and a luncheon with CEOs.
In their summit, President Moon and the king will review bilateral relations that date back to 1901 and discuss strengthening forward-looking cooperation in areas where both countries have strengths such as information and communications technology, chemistry, logistics and food.
Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said President Moon will reconfirm Belgium’s support for the peace process on the Korean Peninsula. The Western European nation is a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.
Having made four earlier visits to Seoul as the crown prince, King Philippe has an amicable relationship with Korea, Kim said.
"The state visit by King Philippe and his wife is expected to solidify the momentum in bilateral trade and investment cooperation, which has become more vibrant since a Belgian economic mission’s visit to Korea in 2017. It will also likely serve as an opportunity to diversify Korea’s summit diplomacy," the spokesperson said.