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Bill Gates to discuss next pandemic with National Assembly speaker

Bill Gates, co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks at a news conference during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on May 25, 2022. (AP-Yonhap)
Bill Gates, co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks at a news conference during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on May 25, 2022. (AP-Yonhap)

South Korean parliament’s speaker Kim Jin-pyo will meet with Bill Gates next week to discuss COVID-19, future threats of pandemics and the importance of international cooperation in responding to them.

The parliament office on Tuesday said the meeting between the speaker and the Microsoft founder is scheduled to take place on Aug. 16 for about 40 minutes.

Following the meeting Gates will deliver an address to the parliament about the role South Korea can play in the preparations for the next pandemic, the office said.

Alongside Kim, floor leaders of two major parties -- the ruling People Power Party’s Kweon Seong-dong and the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea’s Park Hong-keun -- and the parliament’s secretary-general Lee Kwang-jae will meet with Gates.

Gates will be accompanied by three senior officials from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including Joe Cerrell, the managing director for Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia; James Carty, the interim deputy director of the Middle East and East Asia; and Mihoko Kashiwakura, head of East Asia relations.

This will mark the second visit by Gates to South Korea’s parliament. The last time he was here in 2013 he talked about “smart aid.”

According to the parliament office, the South Korean speaker suggested the meeting with Gates to Trevor Mundel, the president of global health at the Gates Foundation, when he was here in June.

Gates and his team will be in South Korea from Aug. 15-17.

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)
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