S. Korea, Indonesia to hold summit on regional, economic cooperation

SEOUL, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Indonesian President Joko Widodo were set to hold a summit Monday to discuss ways to increase their countries' bilateral and regional cooperation.

Widodo arrived in Seoul on Sunday on a three-day state visit that reciprocated Moon's state visit to his country last year. The two leaders last met in Jakarta in November, in which they agreed to upgrade their countries' bilateral relationship to a "special strategic partnership."

Widodo's visit began with an official welcome ceremony at Changdeok Palace of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), involving the South Korean president and other ranking officials from both countries.

After the ceremony, the two leaders took a walk through the palace in a friendly event designed to help strengthen their personal relationship, according to Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

Their bilateral summit will start at 3 p.m. at Cheong Wa Dae, followed by an extended summit.

"At the upcoming summit, the two leaders are expected to discuss specific ways to strengthen the countries' special strategic partnership," Cheong Wa Dae said earlier.

The leaders are also expected to discuss joint efforts to promote regional cooperation.

Moon unveiled his so-called New Southern Policy during his trip to Indonesia last year, under which he seeks to greatly improve his country's diplomatic and economic ties with Southeast Asian countries, such as India and all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that include Indonesia.

The South Korean president has vowed efforts to nearly double his country's trade with ASEAN countries to US$200 billion by 2020.

With Widodo's visit, Indonesia has become the first ASEAN nation to have exchanged visits by their leaders with South Korea since Moon took office in May 2017, Cheong Wa Dae said.

The leaders will meet again later in the day when Moon hosts a state dinner for the Indonesian first couple.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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