King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium are on their way to South Korea for their four-day state visit. The aim of the visit is to strengthen the ties between the two nations and promote economic, academic and cultural cooperation.
Early this afternoon, the King and Queen boarded the A340 governmental aeroplane at the military airport of Melsbroek, close to Brussels. The King and Queen received an official goodbye as the King checked on the military troops and the national anthem was played. Their Majesties are joined by a delegation of 200 people including ministers, high officials, CEO’s, representatives of academic institutions and Belgian media.
The King and Queen of the Belgians will kick off their state visit in Seoul where they are expected to arrive on Monday morning after a 10-hour flight. At Seoul Air Base they will be welcomed by the Belgian Ambassador to South Korea, Peter Lescouhier and a Korean Minister. Then they will be escorted to their hotel, the Grand Hyatt Seoul. There they will receive another ceremonial welcome after which they will get some time to rest and freshen up. In the afternoon the royal couple will visit a furniture museum.
The State Visit will be packed with visits, ceremonies and other activities. Highlights of the visit include a meeting with the President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in and the state banquet on the evening of the second day. King Philippe will receive the honorary citizenship of Seoul during an official ceremony at the City Hall.
While King Philippe will focus on promoting Belgian companies and businesses in Korea, Queen Mathilde’s activities focus on education, children, mental health, the climate and the SDG’s.
It is only the second state visit ever from Belgium to South Korea. King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola visited the country in 1992. Only two years ago, King Philippe’s sister Princess Astrid led a successful economic mission to South Korea.
On Thursday afternoon, King Philippe, Queen Mathilde and their delegation will board their plane for a 12-hour flight back to Belgium.