July 02, 2013 11:16
President Park Geun-hye will host a special summit in Seoul next year for the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The Foreign Ministry on Monday said the summit is not the annual meeting hosted by the chair country of ASEAN but a separate event to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and the trading bloc.
This will be the second special summit since 2009.
Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said, "By hosting the summit, the Korean government wants to send a message to each of the leaders that Korea values ASEAN." The government also plans a Southeast Asia cultural center in Korea.
Korea will also invite the foreign ministers of the five Mekong countries (Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam) for talks in Seoul also scheduled for next year.
Korea's trade with ASEAN totaled US$131 billion last year, the second biggest amount after China.
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