President Yoon Suk Yeol has departed for a four-day state visit to the Netherlands to become the first South Korean leader to make such a trip since the two nations established diplomatic ties in 1961.
Yoon and First Lady Kim Keon-hee took off for the European country from Seoul Air Base Monday morning, embarking on the trip at the invitation of King Willem-Alexander during which the president is set to focus on enhancing bilateral cooperation in the semiconductor sector.
On Tuesday, Yoon and the king will visit the headquarters of top chip-making equipment manufacturer ASML in Veldhoven, where the two plan to tour key facilities and discuss ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in semiconductors.
The top office said that Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong and SK Chairman Chey Tae-won plan to join Yoon during the visit to ASML, adding that the president will be the first foreign leader to be invited inside a "cleanroom" manufacturing facility at the ASML headquarters.
Presidential spokesperson Kim Soo-kyung said on Sunday that to forge a chip alliance, the president plans to establish a new dialogue mechanism on semiconductors, sign a memorandum of understanding, and engage in discussions to execute joint projects.
On Wednesday, Yoon will travel to The Hague and hold talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte followed by a joint press conference before visiting the Yi Jun Peace Museum, which honors the Korean diplomat who, along with two other Koreans, was dispatched by Emperor Gojong in 1907 to attend the Second Hague Peace Conference in the city.