Yoon arrives in Spain for NATO summit
MADRID, June 27 (Yonhap) — President Yoon Suk-yeol arrived in Spain on Monday to attend a NATO summit and meet with world leaders to discuss security and economic relations during his first trip to abroad as president.
South Korea is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but was invited along with Japan, Australia and New Zealand as Asia-Pacific partners of the organization. Yoon will be the first South Korean president to attend a NATO summit.
On the sidelines, Yoon plans to hold a trilateral summit with US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday, the first such gathering in nearly five years since they last met in September 2017.
Yoon is also due to hold a series of bilateral summits, starting with the Australian prime minister and the NATO secretary general on Tuesday. A scheduled meeting with the Finnish president was canceled due to a scheduling conflict.
On Wednesday, he is due to meet separately with the leaders of the Netherlands, Poland and Denmark, as well as King Felipe VI of Spain, before holding additional summits on Thursday with his counterparts from the Czech Republic and Britain. .
In his speech to NATO members and partner countries on Wednesday, Yoon will discuss the history of cooperation between South Korea and NATO since the two sides established a partnership in 2006, and call for NATO’s interest and cooperation regarding the North Korea nuclear issue, among other issues, presidential officials said.
First Lady Kim Keon-hee accompanies Yoon.
Together they plan to attend a gala dinner hosted by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia on Tuesday and have dinner with South Korean residents in Spain on Wednesday.
Kim will also attend an official program for wives of leaders attending the NATO summit.
During the flight to Madrid, Yoon exchanged greetings with the traveling press aboard the presidential jet. First Lady Kim joined him later.
The president will return to Seoul on Friday.