S.Korean president to attend NATO summit in Spain

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will attend a NATO summit meeting later this month in his first overseas trip since taking office last month.

A presidential official said on Friday that Yoon will attend the meeting scheduled for June 29 and 30 in the Spanish capital of Madrid.

South Korea is not a NATO member nation, but was invited to attend its summit meeting, along with other non-member countries including Japan.

Yoon will be the first South Korean president to attend the meeting. The presidential official said Yoon hopes to hold bilateral talks with many leaders on the sidelines of the summit.

The official said Yoon wants to expand his country's role as a global pivotal nation, by strengthening cooperation with NATO allies and partners to the values- and rules-based international order.

Arrangements are also under way for Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio to attend the NATO summit.

Attention is focused on whether Kishida will be able to get in contact with Yoon, who has expressed willingness to improve his country's relations with Japan.

Asked about the possibility of the two leaders meeting, the presidential official said nothing could be confirmed at this point.