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Moon kicks off ASEAN meetings by attending special gala with leaders of ASEAN, U.S. and others Updated: 2017-11-13 11:52:39 KST

From Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
All donning the traditional barong prepared by their host, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
It's a fiesta for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders, dialogue partners, and their spouses at the ASEAN Summit 2017 special gala Sunday evening where President Moon Jae-in debuted on the semi-annual meeting.

But, the real game begins today.
Staying in tune with his key notes in the first two stops of his trip, President Moon Jae-in continues his efforts to build stronger ties with members of the ASEAN both economically and diplomatically.

Over the next two days, the South Korean leader will meet with the leaders of the 10 Southeast Asian member-states, those ten and China and Japan within the ASEAN Plus Three framework, and in the form of the East Asia Summit which involves the thirteen plus five other dialogue partners which includes the U.S. and Russia.

In those meetings and in a special address Mr. Moon has been invited to deliver the South Korean president is expected to promote greater mutual prosperity between the people of ASEAN and South Korea by pledging to speed up talks to further liberalize a bilateral free trade deal and to cooperate with all ASEAN member states to overcome the security challenges posed by North Korea.

The South Korean president also has a series of one-on-ones lined up on the margins of the main events starting with one with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Monday afternoon and another with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong the following morning.

The highlight of President Moon's bilaterals here in Manila will be his face-to-face talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang coming fresh off his one-on-one with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Vietnam where the two sides agreed to end a year-long standoff over the deployment of U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.

Moon Connyoung, Arirang News, Manila.
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