German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are among 26 VIPs from 21 countries coming to South Korea for the Winter Olympics that will kick off next week in the country’s alpine town of Pyeongchang in Gangwon Province, the presidential office said on Monday.
According to the Blue House, 16 will attend the opening ceremony of PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Other guests include U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and China’s Politburo Standing Committee member Han Zheng.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Crown Prince and Princess and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will accompany three royalties the King, Queen, and Princess in their trip to the sports event.
Nam Gwan-pyo, a deputy director of the presidential National Security Office
An unnamed official from the Blue House said that it also hopes a high-level official from Russia to visit Korea as issues with the International Olympic Committee has been resolved after “clean” athletes among those that were banned for engaging in anti-doping rules were invited to take part in the event. The official added that PyeongChang Winter Olympics will not only be a sports event but the country’s first stage for head-level multilateral diplomacy under the Moon Jae-in government.
The Blue House will issue separate statement on the details of the biggest-ever North Korean delegation coming to PyeongChang.
Moon will host a reception for the head-level guests on the eve of the opening day. He will hold bilateral talks with leaders from 14 countries including Germany and Slovenia, and also, United Nations Secretary General, and discuss mutual concerns and measures to boost partnership.
By Kang Gye-man and Lee Eun-joo
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