Moon, Abe to meet formally at Olympics

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Moon, Abe to meet formally at Olympics

President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a summit in Pyeongchang, Gangwon, the alpine town that will host the upcoming Winter Olympics, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Abe will fly to Korea through Yangyang International Airport near Pyeongchang to celebrate the Olympics, a ministry official said in a background briefing.

Moon will hold talks with 14 top state and government representatives before and during the Feb. 9-25 Winter Olympics and March 9-18 Paralympics, the ministry official said.

Moon will host talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Seoul.

Han Zheng, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China who will visit Korea as President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, will also meet with Moon in the Korean capital, according to the ministry official.

In celebration of the Olympics, a total of 26 top officials from 21 foreign countries will visit Korea during the international sporting events, the biggest gathering of foreign leaders in the country since the hosting of the Nuclear Security Summit in 2012, the official noted.

They include German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Slovenian President Borut Pahor and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Chinese President Xi could possibly join the guest list, but a final decision has not been made.

“It is still undecided. But at some point in the future, there may be an announcement [of a decision],” the official said.

The Foreign Ministry is currently operating a 150-member protocol task force for the visiting leaders.

The ministry will provide an all-terrain vehicle to each visiting leader and top official. It will also operate unscheduled bullet trains to carry high-ranking guests to Pyeongchang, the official said.

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