Korean, Philippine leaders agree to improve ties, better protect nationals

By Yonhap

Published : Nov 14, 2017 - 09:50
Updated : Nov 14, 2017 - 09:50

MANILA -- The leaders of South Korea and the Philippines agreed Monday to further strengthen the countries' longstanding friendship and discussed measures to better protect their people in the other's country, Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

During their summit, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte also agreed to work together in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations forum in Manila.

"President Moon expressed hope to strengthen the country's relationship with the Philippines, our old friend and the chair of ASEAN this year," Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R)(AP)


It explained the Philippines were the first Southeast Asian country to establish diplomatic ties with Seoul in March 1949. It also sent over 7,000 troops to fight in the 1950-53 Korean War.

The Philippine president said he will actively support Moon's newly proposed vision for a joint community of South Korea and ASEAN, Cheong Wa Dae said.

Moon also asked for special interest by the Philippine president himself into the safety of South Korean residents and tourists in the Southeast Asian country.

The request follows a number of incidents where South Korean residents or visitors were killed or injured in recent crimes.

Duterte said he will work to enhance the safety of South Korean people in the country. Moon said his government too will work to better protect the lives and rights of Philippine residents in South Korea.

As of end-2016, there were some 90,000 South Korean residents in the Philippines and around 57,000 Philippine residents in South Korea, Cheong Wa Dae said. The number of visitors between the two countries topped 2 million the same year, with some 1.47 million South Koreans traveling to the Philippines.

The South Korean president asked for the Philippines' continued support for Seoul's efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons.

Duterte said his country has supported Seoul's position 100 percent and will continue to do so.

Moon arrived here Sunday for the annual ASEAN forum that included the Korea-ASEAN summit, involving the South Korean president and the leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries.

He and the leaders of Japan and China will attend what is known as the ASEAN Plus Three summit on Tuesday that will likely focus on ways to enhance cooperation between the 10 Southeast Asian nations and the three Northeast Asian countries. (Yonhap)

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