President Rodrigo Duterte (MNS photo)

MANILA, Oct 28 (Mabuhay) — President Rodrigo Duterte has renewed his call to fellow Asean leaders to hold continued talks to bring peace in the Korean Peninsula.

He made this statement during the 22nd Asean-Republic of Korea Summit on Oct. 26, which was held via video conference.

“Securing peace in the Korean Peninsula remains a priority issue for all of us. The Philippines reiterates its call for all parties to continue dialogue and work towards lasting peace and stability in a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” he said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday vowed to push for dialogues with North Korea until the end of his term amid the resumption of a provocative weapons test.

Meanwhile, Duterte welcomed Viet Nam as the new country coordinator of Asean-Republic of Korea (ROK) Dialogue Relations for 2021-2024 and thanked Brunei Darussalam for being the previous country coordinator.

He also assured the Philippines’ full support for the further strengthening of Asean-ROK relations.

Exemplary Covid-19 response

Duterte described the Joint Statement on Advancing Asean-ROK Cooperation as a “key action document” highlighting complementarities between ROK’s New Southern Policy Plus and Asean’s major strategies to build a community of peace and prosperity in the post Covid-19 period.

He praised the ROK for its “exemplary” Covid-19 response—from curbing the spread of the disease to supporting vaccine multilateralism.

Duterte also expressed gratitude for ROK’s “generous contribution” to the Covid-19 Asean Response Fund.

“As we work towards recovery, we welcome collaboration on vaccine production and other initiatives under the Asean’s Comprehensive Recovery Framework,” he said.

With the convening of the Asean-ROK Health Dialogue Channel, Duterte said he looks forward to closer cooperation in public health security,

Duterte also emphasized the need for deeper regional economic integration, noting that Covid-19 has exposed economies’ weaknesses.

He called on fellow Asean leaders to exert all efforts to fully implement the Asean-Korea Free Trade Agreement and ensure the early entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

“We welcome the signing of the Philippines-ROK Free Trade Agreement today. This is a step towards deeper integration which is needed for our economies to recover and bounce back,” he said.

Duterte expressed support for the upgrade of the New Southern Policy, particularly the major initiatives aimed at enhancing people-to-people connectivity.

“Cooperation in the digital content industry, through capacity building and co-production, can certainly bring our peoples even closer together,” he said. (MNS)

READ NEXT: Robredo favors face-to-face presidential debate for Eleksyon 2022