South Korean president to meet Obama on official state visit
South Korean President Lee Myung Bak will meet US President Barack Obama on a rare official state visit on October 13, the White House said late Tuesday, DPA reported.
"This visit will highlight the strong alliance, the global partnership, and the deep economic ties between the United States and the Republic of Korea," the White House said. "The visit will also celebrate the strong bonds of friendship between the American and Korean people."
The two leaders are to discuss security and economic issues, including the pending US-Korea Free Trade Agreement that has been held up since the previous Bush administration.
In an interview with the German Press Agency dpa and other news agencies Monday, Obama expressed optimism that the free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama would be ratified by the US Congress "before the end of the year."
Obama has tied these free-trade agreements to the Trade Adjustment Assistance programme, which offers retraining and compensation for workers affected by foreign trade.
Lee will be entertained at one of the rare official state dinners that Obama has given for visiting leaders.