THE Philippine government might continue discussions on the procurement of military ships and weapons during President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s second visit to South Korea next week, Foreign Affairs department said on Friday.
“Defense procurement with the Republic of Korea is ongoing,” Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Junever Mahilum-West said at a televised briefing.
Mr. Duterte on Tuesday said his visit to South Korea was vital because he planned to acquire arms.
He will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-ROK commemorative summit in Busan, during which he would meet with other Asean leaders as well as South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Mr. Duterte will be joined by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr., Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista.
The president last met with the heads of Asean member-states and President Moon at the Asean Summit in Bangkok in October. This will be his second visit to South Korea during his term.
The Philippines and South Korea are expected to sign agreements on education, tourism and social security, among other things, Ms. West said.
Summit participants are expected to issue a joint vision statement for peace, prosperity and partnership. The co-chairman will also issue a statement on the commemorative summit.
“These two represent the strong partnership between Asean and ROK,” Ms. West said.
The summit will focus on the 30-year cooperation between Asean states and South Korea as well as connectivity and concerns on security in the Korean peninsula.
Mr. Duterte won’t have time to meet with the Filipino community in South Korea during his two-day visit, she added. — Charmaine A. Tadalan