Westin Chosun Busan Hotel
Busan, Republic of Korea
11 December 2014

President Benigno S. Aquino III and Korean President Park Geun-hye met in an expanded bilateral meeting together with the members of the Philippine delegation and officials of the Korean government.

In his statement, President Aquino expressed condolences for the sinking of Oryong 501 in the Bring Sea where thirteen Filipinos are working. Three of them have been rescued, three are deceased while the other seven crew members are still missing.

Moreover, President Aquino thanked Korea for the assistance it extended to the Philippines during natural disasters such as super typhoon Haiyan last year, and typhoon Hagupit that hit the country a few days ago. He mentioned that Korea’s joint support group called the Araw Troup which worked on the rehabilitation of schools, hospitals and other facilities is still in Leyte and has a good rapport with the local government unit of the province.

On the other hand, President Park conveyed Korea’s sympathies to the Filipino people “for the loss of lives and property as a result of typhoon Hagupit” and assured that their government will support the recovery work.

On security, President Park affirmed Korea’s defense cooperation in the Philippines. She cited the Philippines’ acquisition of FA-50s aircraft. “The export contract for exporting 12 FA-50s that we concluded back in March of this year really resembles as a new chapter in our defense industrial cooperation and I do wish to thank you, Mr. President, for your special interest and support on this matter,” said President Park.

The two leaders affirmed the Philippines and Korea’s agreement in ensuring the easy implementation of the Employment Permit System (EPS) for Filipino workers in Korea as well as the reinforcement of people-to-people exchanges.

Other significant issues discussed by President Aquino and President Park were the proposal to have a bilateral agreement on promoting cooperation in basic and technical-vocational education, and the Philippine government’s reiteration that the country supports the efforts on the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

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