Rivlin lands in South Korea, kicking off official visit

President to spend four days in country at invitation of counterpart Moon Jae-in; Israeli businesspeople and academics join his entourage

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

President Reuven Rivlin arrives for an official visit to South Korea on July 14, 2019. (Tomer Reichman (courtesy)/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin arrives for an official visit to South Korea on July 14, 2019. (Tomer Reichman (courtesy)/GPO)

President Reuven Rivlin landed Sunday in South Korea at the start of an official visit to the East Asian country.

Rivlin was welcomed into the country by Park Yoon-sun, minister for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and Startups, the president’s office said in a statement.

The president was invited by his South Korean counterpart, President Moon Jae-in, and will stay until Thursday.

Rivlin was accompanied by two delegations from Israel’s business and academic sectors, led by Adiv Baruch, chair of the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, and Professor Yaffa Zilbershats, chair of the Council for Higher Education Planning and Budgeting Committee.

During his visit, the delegations are expected to sign agreements for further cooperation between Israel and South Korea.

On Wednesday, Rivlin will hold a working meeting with Moon and will be guest of honor at a lunch hosted by the South Korean president. Rivlin will later tour the Hyundai Motor Company and meet with the Israeli business delegation joining his visit, the statement from his office said.

Israel and South Korea established diplomatic relations in 1962 and Israel opened an embassy there in 1992.

Rivlin’s visit comes as Israel’s synchronized swimming national team made history Sunday by earning a place in the finals of the World Championships being held in South Korea. A spokesperson for the president said Rivlin is not scheduled to watch the team perform in Tuesday’s final.

In November, South Korea said it was purchasing two advanced radar systems from Israel that are meant to improve its ability to detect incoming missiles, like those that could be launched by North Korea. The two Green Pine radar detectors will be provided by the ELTA Systems Ltd., a subsidiary of the state-owned IAI Israel Aerospace Industries.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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