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Duterte back in PHL from South Korea

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night returned to the country after taking part in meetings with fellow Asian leaders in South Korea.

The plane carrying Duterte arrived in Manila at 6:17 p.m.

Duterte spent three days in South Korea’s second largest city Busan for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit which coincided with the 30th anniversary of dialogue relations.

During the summit, the President welcomed South Korea’s push for stronger relations with ASEAN and supported new initiatives on increasing trade and investments, connectivity, capacity-building for micro, small and medium enterprises, technical vocational education training, smart city development and startup programs.

He also called for more strategic and preventive collective action to address threats to regional peace and security, including terrorism and violent extremism, drug trafficking, piracy and other maritime security issues, marine conservation and climate change-related issues.

On the Korean Peninsula conflict, Duterte said a military option was not feasible.

“Only dialogue, based on mutual trust and respect, can lead to ‘a Korea at peace with itself and without nuclear weapons,’” the Palace quoted the President as saying. 

Duterte also had separate meetings with the officials of top Korean companies and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday.

During their meeting, Duterte and Moon vowed to elevate the level of their countries’ relations to strategic partnership by 2020, allowing the two nations to engage in greater cooperation to achieve common prosperity.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of agreements covering education, social security, fisheries, tourism and trade.

Duterte also invited Moon to undertake a state visit to the Philippines. —NB, GMA News