From InterAksyon (Oct 17): PH, S.Korea forge defense cooperation pact on PNoy's first day in Seoul
President Benigno Aquino III and Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye witness the signing of a defense cooperation agreement between their respective defense chiefs: Manila's Voltaire Gazmin and Seoul's Kim Kwan-jin. (PLDT powered by SMART) Photo by: Benhur Arcayan / Malacañang Photo Bureau
SEOUL – The Philippines and South Korea forged an agreement on defense cooperation Thursday, hours after President Benigno S. Aquino III arrived in this capital on a state visit--the first head of state to do so since Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye assumed office.
Aquino and Park stood as witnesses as Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Korea Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on Cooperation in the Field of Defense during the Signing of Agreements at the Blue Room.
President Aquino is the first leader to undertake a state visit to Korea since President Park took office in February this year. Korea is one of the Philippines’ major investment and trade partners. Last year, bilateral trade amounted to US$ 7.408 billion, according to a statement by Malacanang Palace.
Aside from being an important source of investments and official development assistance, Korea remains the country’s top source of tourists, reaching more than a million in 2012 or nearly a quarter of total tourist arrivals to the Philippines.