POLITICS

South Korea's Park Geun-hye to make state visit to Canada

09/11/2014 11:52 EDT | Updated 11/11/2014 05:59 EST
South Korean President Park Geun-hye will visit Ottawa Sept. 20-22, the Prime Minister's Office said Thursday.

Park's visit comes on the heels of a major trade deal between Canada and South Korea, negotiations for which finished last March. The agreement's text was tabled in the House of Commons in June.

This will be the first state visit to Canada by a president of Korea since 1999, according to the news release from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office. Harper visited Korea last spring to announce the trade deal.

It's also around the time Harper is expected to host EU President José Manuel Barroso to sign an historic trade agreement with the European Union.

The visits are scheduled around the time of the leaders' trips to New York City for the UN General Assembly.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister's Office announced Harper would attend the UN General Assembly for the first time in three years.

Korea is one of Canada’s largest trading partners in Asia with total merchandise trade hitting $10.8 billion in 2013, the news release said.