Prince Andrew to visit SeoulWhen a member of the British royal family goes abroad, one might expect him to take in an opera, donate to a museum, maybe even visit an orphanage or two. But the agenda for the Duke of York Prince Andrew’s visit to Korea, which starts today, is full of something unexpected: work.
During his four-day visit, the prince will announce a new digital technology initiative with Chin Dae-je, the Korean Minister of Information and Communications. He will also meet with the Korean Importers Association, the British Chamber of Commerce in Korea and potential investors from Korean companies, including SK Telecom, NHN and LG Life Sciences.
The prince will also meet with President Roh Moo-hyun; Yoon Jeung-hyun, the governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, and Lee Myung-bak, Seoul’s mayor.
The prince's previous visit to Korea was four years ago; no member of the British royal family has visited since. British Prime Minister Tony Blair came to Korea last year.
“Prince Andrew has something of a special role,” said Youngmee Riew, an employee of the British Embassy. “His visit is not as a member of the royal family, but as a special trade representative.”
Had he been visiting in a royal capacity, Ms. Riew explained, his agenda would have included more cultural outings and courtesy calls and fewer business meetings.
In addition to meeting with investors, the prince will also officially launch the BBC Prime satellite channel, which will bring entertainment programming from the British government-funded television network to Korea’s SkyLife service.
The British Embassy quoted the prince as saying that he is looking forward to finding out more about the increasingly strong trade and investment links between Britain and Korea. “These links have long formed the basis of our close relationship, and I am sure that they will continue to flourish in the future,” he was quoted as saying.
by Ben Applegate
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