Duterte off to Korea for summit

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    PRESIDENT Duterte flew to Busan, South Korea last night for the two-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit that starts today.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs said aside from the summit, the President is expected to hold a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

    The DFA also said two documents are expected from the ASEAN-ROK Summit and other side events, namely, the ASEAN-ROK Joint Vision Statement for Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership and the Co-Chairs’ Statement on the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.

    It said some agreements in the areas of education, tourism, social security, fisheries and defense maybe signed during the trip.

    The President has said regional security and the acquisition of defense equipment would be part of his agenda when he meets the leaders of South Korea and the other Southeast Asian countries.

    Duterte said tension in the Korean Peninsula and the maritime dispute in the South China Sea are among the issues that may be discussed.

    The President last met President Moon during the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Thailand, earlier this month.

    The President’s delegation include Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Ambassador to South Korea Noe Wong, and Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje.

    This will be Duterte’s second visit to South Korea since assuming office. He first traveled to Seoul in June 2018.