Prime Minister John Key will next month visit China, Vietnam and the Republic of Korea, his office announced today.

Mr Key's visit to Korea and Vietnam will be his first to both countries as Prime Minister. His trip to China will be his second.

While in the Republic of Korea, Mr Key will hold a summit meeting with President Lee Myung-bak to discuss the current free trade negotiations, security on the Korean Peninsula and Korea's preparations to host the G20 Summit in November.

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, Mr Key will visit the War Memorial in Yongsan, Seoul for a wreath-laying ceremony in tribute to New Zealanders who lost their lives in the conflict.

Mr Key will visit Beijing for formal discussions with China's leaders and will also visit the New Zealand Expo Pavilion in Shanghai to mark New Zealand's "National Day" on July 9.

In Vietnam Mr Key will meet with, among others, the Prime Minister, President and senior Communist Party representatives.

Mr Key will host a dinner to commemorate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Vietnam, and meet with New Zealand business people and their Vietnamese counterparts.

Mr Key will visit the Republic of Korea from July 4 to July 7, China from July 7 to July 10 and Vietnam from July 10 to 12, his office said.

- NZ Herald staff