Yoon kicks off swing through North Gyeongsang Province ahead of visit to ex-President Park

SEOUL-- President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol traveled to the southeastern city of Andong on Monday as part of a two-day swing through the region that includes a meeting with former President Park Geun-hye in the city of Daegu.

Andong was the first of four locations Yoon was scheduled to visit on the first day of the thank-you trip organized to express gratitude for the support that people in the region showed him in last month's presidential election.

"Even though I was not born in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, it feels like my hometown. Please consider me a son of Andong and North Gyeongsang Province," Yoon said during a meeting with leaders of the city known for preserving traditional values.

Yoon's trip is a focus of attention because he is scheduled to pay a visit to former President Park on Tuesday after she settled in her hometown last month after being released from prison under a presidential pardon and subsequently from a hospital.

During the meeting, Yoon is expected to invite Park to his May 10 inauguration ceremony and try to sort out the ill-fated relationship with Park.

In 2016, Yoon was the lead prosecutor for Park's corruption scandal that eventually led to her impeachment, ouster from office and imprisonment the following year.

Yoon has repeatedly stated his wish to visit Park, saying he feels "greatly sorry" for the investigation on a political and emotional level, though he was doing his job.

Yoon's visit to Daegu and the surrounding North Gyeongsang Province also comes 51 days before the June local elections. Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province are recognized as the strongholds of Yoon's People Power Party.

Source: Yonhap News Agency