SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – Donald Trump is set to meet with President Moon Jae-in in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss North Korea, the Korea-US free trade agreement and military cooperation, and the American president will also address the National Assembly during his two-day trip to South Korea.
Trump’s trip to South Korea is the first state visit by a U.S. president in 25 years, with the U.S. president expected to be welcomed with a 21-gun salute on arrival, while the two leaders are scheduled to take a stroll around the Blue House and later attend a concert consisting of a fusion of classical music and traditional Korean music, and K-pop.
On Wednesday, Trump is expected to address the National Assembly, joining the likes of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush who spoke there in the past, and will wrap up the trip with a visit to the Seoul National Cemetery to pay his respects.
However, with North Korea expected to be on top of the agenda, tensions are rising in South Korea ahead of Trump’s visit.
Thousands gathered in the center of Seoul for anti-Trump protests over the weekend, which were led by the No Trump Collective Action, a political coalition consisting of over 220 groups.
“Whenever Trump opens his mouth, he makes war threats and raises military tensions in order to sell millions worth of weapons. The warmongering, arms-selling businessman Trump shouldn’t come to Korea,” the coalition said.
Protestors were seen marching near the U.S. Embassy where chants of “No Trump” were heard loud and clear, with more protests planned during Trump’s stay in South Korea.
The People’s United Party also gave a speech near the U.S. Embassy on the weekend, during which the minor political party slammed the U.S. president for threatening to wage a war on the Korean peninsula by using provocative words against North Korea.
Pro-American protestors also showed up at a counter protest nearby, welcoming Trump’s state visit while calling on the government to take a tougher stance against the North Korean regime.
With major protests expected to erupt tomorrow in the center of Seoul, police will be placed on the highest alert level while prohibiting protests around the Blue House.
Against this backdrop, the government has chimed in, calling for cooperation and public support for the first successful state visit of a U.S. president in over two decades.
“The government is poised to improve the safety of the South Korean public, peace and prosperity in the Korean peninsula during President Trump’s state visit. We ask for confidence in our government and support from the public,” Blue House spokesperson Park Soo-hyun said during a briefing addressing the nation on Sunday.
The Blue House also called on the public to welcome President Trump, saying it is a Korean tradition to welcome guests with open arms.
The rare call for unity and support from the Blue House comes as the success of Trump’s state visit could solidify the South Korea-U.S. alliance.
According to a source close to the Blue House, unlike the administration’s open-minded approach when it comes to the security of President Moon, all security risks will be eliminated for Trump’s state in order to avoid possible diplomatic issues.
“Any elements of security threat along President Trump’s travel route will be eliminated, sending calls for the public to refrain from staging anti-Trump protests,” the source added.
Police have said both pro and anti-Trump protests staged by political organizations will be allowed to go forward within legal boundaries, but warned they would deal with security threats seriously.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)