South Korean president visits Europe

Feb. 11, 2007 at 9:40 AM
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MADRID, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun is on a tour of Spain and Italy hoping to promote his country's economic interests in Europe.

Roh's weeklong itinerary also includes a stop in Vatican City, where he and First Lady Kwon Yang-suk are scheduled to meet with Pope Benedict XVI, The Korea Times reported.

Roh arrived in Madrid Sunday becoming the first South Korean head of state to visit Spain. He was to meet with King Juan Carlos on Monday and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero Tuesday to discuss matters of joint concern, including information technology and trade issues.

"President Roh's state visit, the first of its kind in 57 years, is expected to serve as a catalyst for the two sides to build (a) substantial partnership," Chong Wa Dae spokesman Yoon Seong-yong told The Korea Times.

In Italy, Roh was expected to meet with President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Romano Prodi on economic issues as well as North Korea's testing of nuclear missiles, The Korea Times said.

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