South Korea's president to visit Iran for 1st summit talks

AP News
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Posted: Apr 18, 2016 5:20 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's president is to visit Iran early next month for what would be the two countries' first summit talks, her office said Monday.

Iran has been seeking to integrate into the global financial system and improve ties with other countries since nuclear-related sanctions were lifted in January. Tehran last year agreed to curb nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

South Korea has urged rival North Korea to follow in the footsteps of Iran and give up its nuclear weapons program. North Korea was slapped with tougher U.N. sanctions for its fourth nuclear test and long-range rocket launch earlier this year.

The office of South Korean President Park Geun-hye said in a statement that she will visit Iran from May 1-3 for talks with her Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani. It said the leaders would discuss regional issues including the Korean Peninsula and ways to promote bilateral ties.

South Korea and Iran established diplomatic ties in 1962 but their heads of states have never had bilateral summit talks, according to Park's office. Iran and North Korea, which forged diplomatic relations in 1973, have long been suspected of being close partners in weapons technologies.