BUSAN BUSTLING AS IT GETS READY TO HOST ASEAN LEADERS

NOOR SORAYA MOHAMMAD JAMAL

BUSAN (South Korea), Nov 23 (Bernama) -- A multi-purpose unmanned ground vehicle, the HR-Sherpa, will be part of the security system monitoring in the upcoming 2019 ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit to be held here starting Nov 25.

Developed by Hyundai Rotem Co., a South Korean railway system and plant equipment maker, the HR-Sherpa is designed to support various missions and is capable of detecting mines, chemical and gun firing system; remote weapon system, drone, surveillance and transport kit; and also as medical support to transport personnel. 

Hyundai Rotem's senior research engineer Kim GunKook when met by Bernama here, said that this will be the first time the HR-Sherpa will be in action since being developed in April last year. 

Busan is bustling as the city prepares to host ASEAN leaders, including Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the special summit, to be followed by the 1st Mekong-Republic of Korea Summit.

Security has been stepped up and the city is adorned with thousands of light-emitting diode (LED) lights showcasing beautiful lighting exhibition of Busan's art and ASEAN countries' flags.

Held for the third time - previously in Jeju and Busan in 2009 and 2014 respectively, the summit this year would take stock of South Korea's 30-year relationship with ASEAN and progress moving forward in a mutually beneficial manner. 

It is expected to highlight South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s New Southern Policy, as well as discussions about peace in the peninsula and in East Asia.

As South Korea's largest port city, Busan's turn to host the event for the second time is symbolically significant as it is known as the gateway of sea routes to ASEAN. 

As of 2018, South Korea's trade with the region reached US$160 billion (US$1=RM4.17) -- US$100 billion in exports and US$60 billion in imports, thus making ASEAN as the country's second-largest trading partner. 

Dr Mahathir is scheduled to arrive in Busan tomorrow. 

-- BERNAMA