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Pacific island leaders visit Busan to seek closer cooperation

13:18 May 30, 2023

BUSAN, May 30 (Yonhap) -- Leaders and senior officials of 14 Pacific island nations are set to visit Busan on Tuesday, as South Korea seeks to gain their support for the southern port city's bid for the 2030 World Expo.

The Pacific island leaders are to attend a welcome luncheon hosted by Mayor Park Heong-joon in Busan, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and seek cooperation in diverse areas, including the joint response to the climate crisis, economic development and tourism, the city government said.

Prime Minister Mark Brown of the Cook Islands; Henry Puna, the secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF); and other regional leaders and minister-level officials are to participate in the event. The presidents of the Busan Metropolitan Council and the Busan Chamber of Commerce and Industry will also be present.

Park will urge the Pacific island countries to jointly respond to the common challenges of climate change and marine pollution, citing the long history of their friendly relations with South Korea.

The leaders of the Pacific island nations will then attend the opening ceremony of the Korea International Cooperation Conference on Oceans and Fisheries, and look around Busan North Port, the proposed main venue of the 2030 World Expo.

The two-day conference will be held under the theme of "cooperation towards a better future for Pacific Islands."

On Monday, the Pacific island leaders and officials attended an inaugural summit with South Korea in Seoul.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol (C) and leaders and senior officials of Pacific island nations pose for a group photo during the Korea-Pacific Islands Summit at the former presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, in Seoul on May 29, 2023, in this photo released by the presidential office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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