Top diplomats of S. Korea, Vietnam to hold talks on easing of COVID-19 entry curbs, bilateral ties

SEOUL/HANOI, The top diplomats of South Korea and Vietnam were set to hold talks in Hanoi on Friday to discuss the easing of coronavirus entry restrictions for essential business travelers, bilateral relations and other issues, officials said.
During the talks, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Binh Minh, are expected to focus on crafting a “fast-track” program that would allow businesspeople to use a streamlined entry procedure in exception to stringent COVID-19 entry restrictions.
Kang is likely to use the meeting to ask for Vietnam’s support for Seoul’s efforts to resume stalled dialogue with Pyongyang and reiterate her government’s commitment to firming up ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations under its New Southern Policy.
On Thursday, Kang began her two-day trip and paid a courtesy call on Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
At the meeting with Phuc, Kang stressed the need to install the fast-track entry program, noting that small and midsized South Korean enterprises have had difficulties due to the entry restrictions.
Phuc said that a domestic review is under way to craft measures to allow South Korean businesspeople to enter Vietnam under “more advantageous” conditions.
Later in the day, Kang plans to meet Park Hang-seo, the South Korean head coach of the Vietnamese men’s national football team, and hold talks with South Korean residents in the country.
Kang’s visit to Hanoi marks her second trip abroad since the global spread of COVID-19 triggered restrictions on diplomatic trips. The minister visited Germany early last month in her first such trip since the pandemic early this year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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