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S. Korea, Philippines Discuss Expanding Defense, Security Ties

Written: 2023-02-17 18:00:19Updated: 2023-02-17 18:04:26

S. Korea, Philippines Discuss Expanding Defense, Security Ties

Photo : YONHAP News

South Korea and the Philippines are discussing the possibility of enhancing their relations into a strategic partnership.

According to Seoul's foreign ministry, first vice foreign minister Cho Hyun-dong held talks with Philippines' foreign affairs undersecretary for bilateral relations and ASEAN affairs Maria Theresa Lazaro in Seoul on Friday in their eighth policy consultation meeting.

The two sides agreed to work toward upgrading bilateral ties based on South Korea's Indo-Pacific strategy and its vision on boosting solidarity with ASEAN or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

And to that end, the two sides reached a consensus on bolstering efforts to formally sign a free trade agreement that was finalized in 2021 and to step up cooperation in defense and maritime security including multilateral military drills.

Cho asked for Manila's support in expanding cooperation in areas of key minerals, energy and nuclear power plants and facilitating South Korean firms' participation in Philippines' military modernization projects.

Lazaro meanwhile hoped for increased collaboration in agriculture, climate change response, cyber security and information and communications technology.

The two sides also agreed to hold various exchanges and events to mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year.

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