THE Korean government is committed to supporting the Duterte administration in its “endeavors” towards the country’s development, South Korean Ambassador to Manila Kim In-Chul assured.
“Mr. President, let Your Excellency be assured of the cooperation of the Korean Government in the endeavors of your government. And please accept my best wishes for the continued success in all Your Excellency’s endeavors,” he said when he presented his credentials to President Rodrigo Duterte at the Palace on Feb. 10.
Kim underscored that Manila and Seoul’s friendship goes way back in history when the Philippines lend a hand in the Korean War.
The Philippines was also one of the few countries to open its door for South Korea and assist in its economic development back then.
“One signature example will be that the rice breed that helped overcome chronic shortages in Korea was developed at the International Rice Research Institute where numerous Korean experts were trained,” he said.
Kim said Korea’s position now as the country’s fifth trading partner and top four investor and official development assistance source reflect the two nations’ “robust current state of relations.”
“Koreans account for one-quarter of the visitors from around the world to this beautiful country and half a million Filipinos visit Korea every year. I would say, however, that our bond goes beyond these solid numbers. Being the Philippines nearest geographical neighbor outside the Northeast Asia region, we can see records of interaction since early times,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, for his part, said Manila sees Korea as a “valued friend and partner,” citing the growth of its bilateral ties for the past seven decades.
“We forged a special bond. We shared the struggle for and defense of freedom and democratic values during the Korean War. And together we continue to achieve more. Today, we remain committed to pursuing shared aspirations for our peoples,” he said.
Duterte said he intends to sustain this momentum, particularly on trade and investment, sustainable development, infrastructure, and defense.
He added that the delivery of the BRP Antonio Luna demonstrates the two nations’ “mutual commitment to peace and security in our region.”
He thanked Korea for its support in the country’s pandemic response, through donations of testing kits, personal protective equipment, and rice.
Meantime, Duterte said he was aware that Kim visited the country in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda to help in the rehabilitation efforts.
“This is a connection at a most personal level. You were there during the most difficult moments of the Philippines’ history. I am confident you will do your utmost to ensure we build the best memories for our nations,” he told the envoy. Philippine News Agency