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(LEAD) Yoon to use U.N. address to send message about N.K.-Russia military exchanges

17:10 September 14, 2023

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk Yeol is expected to use his upcoming address at the U.N. General Assembly to send a message about military exchanges between North Korea and Russia, a senior official said Thursday.

The presidential office announced that Yoon will make a five-day visit to New York starting Monday to deliver an address before the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday and hold a series of bilateral summits on the sidelines.

"Our government's plans to contribute to bridging global gaps will be outlined," Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo told reporters, adding that the speech will also include the country's plan as a nonpermanent member of the U.N. Security Council from 2024-25.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol addresses the U.N. General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York, in this file photo taken Sept. 20, 2022. Yoon called on U.N. member countries to stand together to defend freedom and peace, saying South Korea will step up contributions to solving global issues and problems. (Yonhap)

Another senior presidential official said Yoon's speech is expected to touch on possible military exchanges between Pyongyang and Moscow, following North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's rare summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"In the U.N. General Assembly address, we expect that there will be an appropriate analysis and message about military exchanges between North Korea and Russia," the official said. "Along with individual measures we can take on our own, we're also discussing multilateral measures we can take together with the United States, Japan and other key friends."

Yoon is scheduled to meet with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and discuss global issues, such as the war in Ukraine and North Korea's nuclear threats, as well as ways for Seoul and the U.N. to cooperate, officials said.

On Wednesday evening, Yoon and first lady Kim Keon Hee will attend a reception hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife.

On the sidelines, Yoon is expected to hold at least 30 bilateral summits to seek support for South Korea's bid to host the 2030 World Expo in its southeastern city of Busan.

"We are coordinating meetings with numerous countries, and the schedule is expected to expand much further," Kim said. Yoon has already had a total of 99 bilateral summits with leaders from 58 countries.

Another official said the presidential office is considering applying for a Guinness World Record for the most summit meetings by a president within a month.

Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo gives a briefing on President Yoon Suk Yeol's upcoming visit to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly at the presidential office in Seoul on Sept. 14, 2023. The five-day visit that begins Sept. 18 will also include a series of bilateral summits on the sidelines of the event. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)



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