By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Han Duck-soo will attend the opening ceremony of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, later this week, according to his office on Tuesday.
Han will leave for China on Saturday to attend the opening ceremony set for later in the day, the office said. Vice Culture Minister Jang Mi-ran, a former Olympic gold medalist in weightlifting, is scheduled to accompany Han.
Asked about the possibility of a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his two-day visit, Han said there could be a meeting that Xi hosts for chief delegates from participating countries.
"But I am not sure whether there could be a separate meeting," he said.
Han emphasized the Seoul government's efforts to maintain an amicable relationship with China, citing ongoing initiatives to arrange a trilateral summit with Japan and China.
"It would be appropriate to consider this as a signal that the prime minister is taking a trip to enhance South Korea-China relations," Han said.
South Korea has usually sent the culture minister to such events.