Jakarta, Indonesia
September 6, 2023

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. expressed grave concern over the recent surge of intercontinental ballistic missile launches conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as well as reaffirmed the Philippines’ support for the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) Audacious Initiative to denuclearize DPRK at the 24th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – ROK Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Delivering his intervention statement before ASEAN Leaders and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, the President conveyed his appreciation on the ROK’s continued support in upholding the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), stating that it serves as “a key pillar of the rules-based international order as the region faces unilateral attempts to change the status quo in its waters.”

He also raised concerns regarding the militarization of reclaimed features in the disputed waters, the dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia vessels, coercive activities, and the prevalence of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Moreover, the Chief Executive conveyed deep appreciation for the launch of the trilateral cooperation between the ROK, Japan and the United States of America (USA), aimed at maintaining stability in the Indo-Pacific.

President Marcos Jr. took the opportunity to personally thank the South Korean President for extending various assistance to the Philippines, particularly for the oil spill in Mindoro that took place in April this year; the USD300,000 contribution in emergency humanitarian assistance for the damages caused by recent typhoons; and the 400 metric tons of rice donated to the Philippines through the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR).

In addition, he welcomed the ROK’s intention to elevate its relationship with the ASEAN to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

“We are optimistic that what we have achieved together in the past decades will be quickly surpassed when relations with ROK are elevated to that of a Comprehensive Strategic Partner of ASEAN,” President Marcos said, concluding his statement.