Duterte to make official SoKor visit on June 3-5
President Rodrigo Duterte will make his first official visit to South Korea on June 3 to 5 to reaffirm the strong relations between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea.
“The significance of this visit basically has to do with conveying to the Republic of Korea the importance of its partnership with the Philippines and to reaffirm the strength of Philippine-Republic of Korea relations,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella said in a Palace briefing on Friday.
During the visit, Abella said the President will witness the signing of various memoranda of understanding on transportation, science and technology and trade.
Abella added that a loan agreement on the New Cebu International Container Port Project between the Philippines and the Export-Import Bank of Korea would also be signed.
The President, he said, would also meet with the Filipino community in the Republic of Korea.
Abella said there are about 68,000 Filipinos in South Korea, many are skilled workers, while the rest are students, professionals, missionaries, and spouses .
Abella said the highlight of the visit would be the meeting between President Duterte and South Korea President Moon Jae-in, who during the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Manila in November 2017, had invited the President.
“The President will also participate in a summit meeting, business luncheon forum, and a summit meeting, business luncheon forum and E-Mart Philippine Food Festival,” he said.
Part of the meeting would be on rehabilitation of Marawi City, Abella said.
“The Republic of Korea donated US$100,000 to the Philippine Red Cross,” he said.
“There will also be a reference to social cooperation or the protection of nationals of both countries, with about 1.6 million Korean tourists to the Philippines and 450,000 Filipino tourists to Korea in 2017, aside from the expatriates in each country,” Abella added.
Jee Ick-joo case
Should the abduction and death of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo on October 2016 be raised, Abella said President Duterte will be ready to answer.
But he said the issue was not on the agenda.
“It’s not part of the agenda but if raised at all, it may be on a side basis. But it’s not part of the agenda,” he said.
“I’m sure he will reassure them that everything that needs to be done is being done and that we will assure that justice will be done,” he added. /muf
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