Duterte meets South Korea’s Moon today

PRESIDENT Duterte arrives at the Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea yesterday. Duterte is on a three-day visit to South Korea and will meet President Moon Jae-in today. (AP)

SEOUL – In his first official visit to South Korea, President Duterte is determined to pursue stronger economic and defense cooperation with the Asian neighbor as well as the safety and protection of nationals from both countries.

The President will seek to enhance bilateral cooperation on infrastructure development, defense and security, agriculture, and tourism, among others, when he meets South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House today, according to Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul Hernandez.

Duterte, accompanied by several Cabinet members, arrived in Seoul yesterday morning for a three-day visit upon the invitation of Moon.

“President Duterte and President Moon will discuss issues of mutual importance to the Philippines and to South Korea, especially those that will enhance deeper friendship and stronger cooperation,” Hernandez said. “I anticipate that they will discuss on how to further enhance our engagement in the political sphere as well as to discuss how to further improve our bilateral relations and investments, and also strengthen further our already robust cooperation in the field of defense and security,” he added.

Hernandez cited that South Korea is one of the country’s “foremost defense and security partners” and cited that the Asian neighbor has been instrumental in the government’s effort to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“Some of our newest defense equipment, like for example the FA-50 fighter jets, were procured from South Korea so we look forward to further enhancing this close cooperation in the years to come,” he said.

He said the President is scheduled to inspect some defense equipment in one of the Korean bases during his visit here. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)