Large business delegation to accompany Park on U.S. visit

May 2, 2013 at 11:19 PM

SEOUL, May 2 (UPI) -- A 51-member South Korean business group will travel with President Park Geun-hye on her U.S. visit, highlighting bilateral economic ties, officials said.

Park's six-day visit to the United States, which begins Sunday, comes as tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high because of North Korean threats and provocations. The United States and South Korea, which just concluded their annual military exercises, along with Japan have stayed on the alert for any long-range ballistic missile test by the North.

"The largest economic delegation in the country's history partly seeks to wipe out any concerns about the country's economy that may have been raised by recent provocations from North Korea," a federation official said.

South Korea and the United States already have concluded a bilateral free trade agreement. Trade between the two sides exceeded $58 billion last year.

The delegation will include heads of South Korea's five major business organizations. Among them will be Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., the largest conglomerate in South Korea and also the world's largest supplier of smartphones and memory chips, the report said.

During their visit, the members will attend an official dinner commemorating the 60th anniversary of the alliance between Seoul and Washington, and a meeting with their U.S. counterparts that will focus on ways to expand economic cooperation between the two countries, the federation said.

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