Seoul, Nov 7 (IANS) US President Donald Trump arrived here on Tuesday for a two-day visit that will include a bilateral summit with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in.
The US leader landed at the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, some 70 km south of Seoul, from Japan, reports Yonhap News Agency.
Trump is the first US president in 25 years to make a state visit to South Korea. Seoul is Trump’s second stop of his five-nation Asia tour.
Upon his arrival, Trump headed to Camp Humphreys, a US military base in Pyeongtaek, 70 km south of Seoul where he was greeted by President Moon.
“Today is a very historic day because it marks the first time the two presidents of South Korea and the United States have come together to a US military base in South Korea to encourage their troops,” Moon said while jointly hosting a lunch with Trump for South Korean and American service members.
“I wish to express my appreciation and respect to all South Korean and US service members… It is said hard times will always reveal true friends. You are our true friends who bled with us when South Korea was at its worst.”
Moon highlighted the importance of the Korea-US alliance, calling it a cornerstone of peace and prosperity not only on the peninsula but in the entire region.
“You are the very strong cornerstone and future of the Korea-US alliance. Let us together create peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Moon as saying.
“Hello everybody! Good food. Thank you all,” Trump said amid applause from the soldiers.
Camp Humphreys, is the largest US military installation abroad. Currently, it accommodates around 26,000 US service members, their families and civilians, along with some South Korean soldiers.
Trump is scheduled to receive a security briefing after the lunch meeting.
A formal welcoming ceremony will be held later on Tuesday at Cheong Wa Dae (presidential palace), before the two leaders hold their third bilateral summit.
Trump’s trip follows North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test so far on September 3 and a series of missile provocations.
He will hold a bilateral summit with Moon at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.
They have held two bilateral summits and two rounds of three-way talks involving Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
On Wednesday, the US President is expected to deliver a speech to the South Korean Parliament before heading to China for the next leg of his trip.
He is also scheduled to stop at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summits in Vietnam and the Philippines, respectively.
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