Trade, tourism on tap in Aquino-Park meetBy Jerome Aning
MANILA, Philippines—Increased trade and tourism will be on the agenda when President Benigno Aquino III visits South Korea on Oct. 17 and 18, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has announced.
Mr. Aquino has accepted the invitation of South Korean President Park Geun-hye to visit the East Asian country, now one of the Philippines’ leading partners in trade and investments. It is also a top source of foreign tourists with more than a million South Koreans visiting last year.
Aquino and Park’s first summit meeting will also touch on political, defense and development cooperation matters, as well as regional and international positions.
Aquino will also meet with the South Korean business community to promote further trade and investment in the Philippines, and he will interact with the Filipino community in Seoul.
According to the DFA, the Philippines and South Korea established relations on March 3, 1949. During the Korean War (1950-53), the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (Peftok) joined the United Nations-led coalition in defending South Korea. Up to today, the DFA said, both countries recognize this as the “bedrock of Philippine-Korean relations.”
Both Aquino and Park are children of former Presidents.
Park is the daughter of President Park Chung-hee, a Korean War veteran who, like his contemporary, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, ruled South Korea as a dictator. She has since apologized for the crimes committed under the rule of her father, who was assassinated in 1979.
Aquino’s father, then journalist and future opposition Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., covered the Korean War. He was assassinated in 1986.