The Korea Herald


Yoon on state visit to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan next week

S. Korea to launch six-way summit with Central Asian countries

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : June 7, 2024 - 17:47

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Kim Tae-hyo, first deputy director of the National Security Office, speaks at a press briefing Friday. (Yonhap) Kim Tae-hyo, first deputy director of the National Security Office, speaks at a press briefing Friday. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol is to embark on a state visit to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan this week, as he seeks to cement Seoul's business ties with Central Asia, according to the presidential office.

Yoon and first lady Kim Keon Hee are scheduled to travel for the visit from Monday to Saturday.

Seoul will work to integrate South Korea's innovation prowess with Central Asian countries' potential for economic development, based on strong trust and solidarity, Kim Tae-hyo, first deputy director of the presidential National Security Office, told reporters Friday in a briefing.

Also, Yoon will discuss with leaders of the three countries ways to enhance their respective bilateral partnership in the fields of not only energy and chemical plant construction, but also health care, education and critical minerals supply, Kim said.

In line with the visits, South Korea is planning to kick off a six-way summit next year with Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and host its first batch of meetings in South Korea, according to Yoon's office.

Moreover, Yoon will expand South Korea's presence in the diplomatic arena with its "K-Silkroad Initiative," seeking a blueprint for multilateral relationship building in the region home to hundreds of thousands of members of the Korean diaspora, or Koryoin, following Yoon's summit with leaders of island countries of the Pacific last year and African countries last week.

Yoon and his wife Kim arrive in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Monday. Yoon will hold talks with President Serdar Berdymukhamedov on Monday, and with his father and People's Council of Turkmenistan Chair Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on Tuesday.

Later Tuesday, Yoon is to fly to Astana, Kazakhstan, where he hold a summit with his Kazakh counterpart, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, on Wednesday.

After flying over to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Thursday, Yoon will be received by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Friday. Yoon is to depart from Uzbekistan on Saturday after visiting Samarkand, which is among the oldest cities in Central Asia.

The respective countries will each host a business summit involving South Korean business leaders. A senior official from the presidential office said Friday it could not provide details about which business entities from South Korea would accompany Yoon on his trip.