DFA Undersecretary for Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro (left) and South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs First Vice Minister Cho Hyundong (right) (Photo courtesy of DFA)

SEOUL – The Philippines and the Republic of Korea (ROK) reaffirmed their friendly and mutually beneficial ties and discussed ways to further elevate their bilateral cooperation to new heights at the 8th Philippine-South Korea Policy Consultation in Seoul on Feb. 17.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs Ma. Theresa Lazaro led the Philippine delegation, while the South Korean side was headed by First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Hyundong.

Both sides had in-depth discussions in areas of mutual concern such as defense and security, maritime engagement; trade, investment, energy, nuclear power, infrastructure, science and technology, information and communications technology cooperation, climate change, and people-to-people exchanges with a focus on tourism and consular cooperation.

They also exchanged views on regional and international developments including ASEAN-ROK cooperation, the West Philippine Sea, Korean Peninsula, the Ukraine crisis and cooperation in the international and multilateral arena.

The Philippine side enumerated several projects planned to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Philippine-South Korea diplomatic relations from March 2024 to March 2025.

The activities will highlight the major aspects of the relations in many areas.

In pursuing projects and activities under various fields of cooperation, Undersecretary Lazaro said that “not only will we walk together, we will run together” towards their common goals and objectives.

The meeting also moved the two countries closer to formalizing the elevation of their bilateral relations into a strategic partnership. It provided significant impetus to strengthen and expand cooperation on wide-ranging areas of engagement.

The Philippines and Korea will commemorate 75 years of diplomatic relations in 2024.

The Philippine-South Korea Policy Consultations is the main forum for extensive dialogue between the two countries’ foreign vice-ministers to discuss a wide range of issues aimed at advancing effective cooperation towards the attainment of common goals and mutually-beneficial interests. (PNA)