Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Trudeau Jets off again to Asia for weeklong junket

Trudeau Jets off again to Asia for weeklong junket

May 16 2023
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol leave a joint news conference, Friday, September 23, 2022 in Ottawa. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left Monday evening for a weeklong trip to Asia, where he will make his first official visit to South Korea and attend the G7 leaders' summit in Japan.

The trip comes at a time when the world is facing security threats and economic uncertainty.

The government plane left from Ottawa on Monday afternoon, but Trudeau was not on board. He first visited Edmonton to meet with members of the Canadian military and help fight wildfires in Alberta.

Trudeau boarded for Seoul in Anchorage, Alaska, during a refuelling stop Monday evening.

The prime minister is 'expected' to be in Seoul from Tuesday to Thursday, after South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol's visit to Ottawa last fall. Since then, both countries have released their Indo-Pacific strategies, plans that aim to counterbalance Chinese influence by increasing economic and military ties in the region.

Trudeau  wants to attend the G7 leaders' summit in Hiroshima, Japan, this weekend while pressing issues over China still brew in Canada.

As G7 host, Japan said it chose to have the summit in Hiroshima to symbolize its ``commitment to peace'' during a time of growing risk of weapons of mass destruction, and ongoing disputes with China and  Ukraine.

The United States dropped the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people. It dropped a second bomb three days later on Nagasaki, killing 70,000 more.

While in Seoul, Trudeau wants to attend ceremonies. He doesn't want to visit the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea.

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