Annual conference of overseas diplomatic mission chiefs opens

An annual conference of South Korea's overseas diplomatic mission chiefs opened Monday with a focus on strengthening its diplomacy amid geopolitical challenges, the foreign ministry said. A total of 182 ambassadors, consuls general and other heads of diplomatic missions in foreign countries have returned home to attend the five-day gathering set to run through Friday. The heads of mission will discuss the direction of South Korea's diplomacy amid the intensifying rivalry between the United States and China, growing North Korean nuclear threats and the prolonged wars in Ukraine and the Middle East. Specifically, the envoys will discuss how to carry out three key tasks that the foreign ministry has put forward for this year: robust security diplomacy, diplomacy centered on economy and livelihoods, and multilateral diplomacy as a global pivotal state. The participants include Ambassador to China Chung Jae-ho, who has been under investigation over allegations that he verbally harassed an embassy staffer in a practice called "gapjil" in Korean. Source: Yonhap News Agency