| Hakim Hayat |
PRESIDENT of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in and spouse Kim Jung-sook arrived in Brunei last evening for a three-day State Visit to the Sultanate.
Present at Brunei International Airport to welcome the President and his spouse were Minister of Home Affairs as Minister-in-Attendance Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong and spouse; Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong and spouse; Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof and spouse; and Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Brunei Darussalam Yoon Hyun-bong.
The President and his spouse walked past a static guard of honour, mounted by members of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF).
The President and his delegation are scheduled to meet His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam at the Istana Nurul Iman in an official welcoming ceremony today.
A State Banquet will also be held tonight, in honour of his visit.
President Moon’s visit to Brunei makes him the first South Korean head of state to make a state visit to Brunei in 19 years. The visit is also the first leg of his three-nation tour that will later take him to Malaysia and Cambodia.
The President’s trip to the region comes amid his efforts to boost his country’s economic and diplomatic relations with its regional neighbours, under his country’s New Southern Policy.
Shortly before departing for Brunei, the President described it in a tweet as a ‘gem-like’ country with rich natural resources, while also adding that through this tour, he would reduce the distance between South Korea and ASEAN by practical cooperation and expanding South Korean business inroads across the region.
“With ASEAN, I will seek to build a people-oriented community of peace and prosperity,” he said in the tweet.
The New Southern Policy is designed to cement ties largely with ASEAN, which is a crucial partner for South Korea due to the bloc’s growth potential, rich resources and growing diplomatic influence.
The President will also consult with Brunei, the current Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Korea Dialogue Relations, to enhance Korea-ASEAN cooperation in part, through the successful hosting of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.
Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Korea have enjoyed close and longstanding diplomatic relation since 1984, with cooperation in various fields including economy, energy, education, ICT and people-to-people exchanges.