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French Prime Minister arrives in Seoul

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French Prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault delivers a speech in Crolles on July 22, 2013. Ayrault arrived in Seoul Thursday as part of an Asian tour, a spokesman for the French Embassy in the city said. (AFP/File)

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault arrived in Seoul Thursday as part of an Asian tour, a spokesman for the French Embassy in the city said.

During a day-long visit Ayrault will meet President Park Geun-Hye and Prime Minister Chung Hong-Won, the spokesman said.

Ayrault and Chung are due to discuss ways to expand bilateral trade and investment, exchanges between schools and research institutes and the situation surrounding North Korea.

The prime minister will also deliver a speech before South Korean and French businessmen.

Four ministers have travelled with him, including veterans affairs minister Kader Arif, and Fleur Pellerin, minister for small and medium enterprises, who was born in South Korea.

Arif will participate in a ceremony in Seoul on Saturday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that brought a ceasefire to the Korean War.

On Friday, Arif and four French veterans of the war will take part in the unveiling of a recently renovated monument in Suwon City, some 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of Seoul, dedicated to France's participation in the 1950-53 conflict.

France sent 3,421 soldiers to help the United Nations and South Korea fight against North Korea and China.

Of those, 262 were killed, 1,008 wounded, seven went missing and 12 were captured as prisoners of war.

After Seoul, Ayrault will visit New Caledonia and Kuala Lumpur.