SOKOR TRIP. President Rodrigo R. Duterte is welcomed by Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in upon his arrival at The Westin Chosun Busan Hotel for their bilateral meeting on Nov. 25, 2019. Duterte invited Moon to visit the Philippines “at the soonest mutually convenient opportunity”. (Presidential Photo by Robinson Niñal)
MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has invited South Korean President Moon Jae-In to visit the Philippines “at the soonest mutually convenient opportunity”, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte extended the invitation during his bilateral meeting with Moon on the sidelines of 2019 Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (Asean-ROK) Commemorative Summit on Monday.
During their meeting, Duterte and Moon also agreed to elevate Philippines-ROK bilateral relations to a strategic partnership.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing and exchange of key agreements — Social Security Agreement, an Implementing Program for Tourism Cooperation, and a Joint Statement on progress in the ongoing Philippine-ROK Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
Agreements on education and fisheries cooperation were also signed in separate ceremonies in Busan.
As for the summit, Duterte and his fellow Asean leaders welcomed Moon’s “New Southern Policy,” which aims to elevate Asean-ROK dialogue partnership and stronger ROK involvement in Asean-led regional mechanisms.
Duterte also supported initiatives on increasing trade and investments, connectivity, capacity-building for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), technical vocational education training, smart city development, and startup programs.
He also called for more strategic and preventive collective action to address threats to regional peace and security, including terrorism and violent extremism, drug trafficking, piracy, and other maritime security issues, marine conservation, and climate change-related issues.
Solution to conflict
During a special retreat session on the Korean Peninsula issue, Panelo said Duterte stressed that the solution to fraternal conflict is not military solution, but dialogue.
“Only dialogue, based on mutual trust and respect, can lead to ‘a Korea at peace with itself and without nuclear weapons’,” Panelo said, citing the President.
The Asean and ROK leaders adopted the co-chairs statement which called for the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes, in accordance with international law including United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Meanwhile, the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint by claimants and all other states was also brought up during their discussions.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Duterte expressed support for South Korea in the peaceful resolution of the Korean peninsula conflict.
The leaders also adopted the Joint Vision Statement for Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership, which will serve as blueprint for the next 30 years of dialogue relations.
The Philippines also participated in ministerial-level side events Asean-ROK CEO Summit, Asean-ROK Culture Innovation Summit, 2019 Asean –ROK Smart City Fair, and Asean-ROK Exhibition on Public Service Innovation.
In the 2019 Development Cooperation Day, Socio-economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia represented the Philippines in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Development Cooperation with ROK together with four other Asean countries.
The 2019 Asean-ROK Ministerial Roundtable on Public Service Innovation was participated in by Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año who presented the country’s best practices on “Innovations in Local Governance Capacity Development for the 21st Century.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry led Philippine private sector participants at the CEO Summit and Asean-ROK Business Expo 2019.
The President also met top officials of Korean private companies to further promote the Philippines as a competitive and profitable trade and investment market.
Duterte returned to Manila on Tuesday, past 6 p.m. after a “productive participation” in the summit, Panelo said.
His attendance in the Asean-ROK Summit is Duterte’s second visit to South Korea. His first visit was in June 2018. (PNA)