Duterte calls for ‘strategic, collection action’ vs threats

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    PRESIDENT Duterte arrived last night from Busan, South Korea where he attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit and called for a more “strategic and preventive collective action” to address security threats.

    During the special retreat session of the summit, Duterte also pushed for a “dialogue” to address conflicts like the one confronting the Korean Peninsula.

    “There is no military solution to a fraternal conflict. Only dialogue, based on mutual trust and respect, can lead to a ‘Korea at peace with itself and without nuclear weapons,’” he said in a statement released by Malacañang shortly after he arrived on a chartered flight at 6:17 p.m. at the Villamor Air Base.

    South Korea and the ASEAN member-countries reaffirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation to address traditional and non-traditional security challenges, promote a peaceful resolution of disputes, and avoid use of force.

    The commitment was made was made during the summit wherein the leaders also agreed to enhance trade and investment, resist all forms of protectionism so as to improve regional development and prosperity, and redouble mutual efforts to advance economic cooperation for the prosperity of ASEAN and South Korea.

    At the sidelines of the summit, President Duterte held talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in whom he invited to visit the Philippines next year. He also thanked Korea for its continued support and friendship.

    The President also met with top Korean companies which he assured of his protection if they expand their business or invest in the Philippines.

    During the summit, Duterte said a more “strategic and preventive collective action” is needed 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.

    He also expressed support for new initiatives on increasing trade and investments, connectivity, technical vocational education training, smart city development, and startup programs.

    Duterte and the other ASEAN leaders, also welcomed President Moon’s “New Southern Policy” which aims to elevate ASEAN-ROK dialogue partnership through enhanced relations with ASEAN countries and stronger ROK involvement in ASEAN-led regional mechanisms.

    The leaders also adopted the ASEAN and ROK co-chairs statement which called for the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea dispute, in accordance with international law including 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

    They emphasized the importance of non-militarization and the exercise of self-restraint by claimants and all other states.

    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.

    Duterte and Moon also witnessed the signing and exchange of key agreements on social security, tourism cooperation, education, and fisheries cooperation, among others.