South Korea's Moon to visit Vietnam, UAE next week

South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech during a ceremony celebrating the 99th anniversary of the March First Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule, at Seodaemun Prison History Hall in Seoul, South Korea, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates next week as part of efforts to deepen bilateral ties, Moon’s office said on Thursday.

The office said Moon is scheduled to land in Hanoi on March 22 for a three-day stay, during which he will meet Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.

The trip is Moon’s second to Vietnam after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Danang in November.

In Indonesia last November, Moon unveiled the “New Southern Policy” aimed at better connecting South Korea to Southeast Asia and expand the economic clout of Asia’s fourth-largest economy in the region home to more than half a billion people.

“Vietnam is our largest trading partner in Southeast Asia, and a core partner country for our New Southern Policy”, Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

Moon will arrive in United Arab Emirates on March 24 for a three-day stay, Kim said.

South Korea is building four nuclear reactors in the Middle Eastern country, and has been stationing a unit of special forces to train UAE troops since 2011.

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Richard Borsuk