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South Korea and PH set to discuss issues on the West PH Sea and other topics in upcoming maritime dialogue – Amb. Lee Sang-hwa
South Korea and PH set to discuss issues on the West PH Sea and other topics in upcoming maritime dialogue – Amb. Lee Sang-hwa
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South Korea and PH set to discuss issues on the West PH Sea and other topics in upcoming maritime dialogue – Amb. Lee Sang-hwa
by Karen Ow-Yong04 October 2023
Photo Courtesy: Karen Ow-Yong

MANILA – South Korea and the Philippines are set to discuss issues concerning the West Philippine Sea and other related topics in the upcoming maritime dialogue set to happen next week.

This is confirmed by South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Sang-hwa during the sidelines of the National Foundation Day and Armed Forces Day celebrations of the Republic of South Korea on Tuesday held in BGC, Taguig City.

According to Lee, the two countries will hold the 2nd Philippine-South Korea Maritime Cooperation Dialogue, amidst growing tensions in this part of the world.

“We are expecting to cover a variety of issues ranging from protection of maritime ecosystem, safety and security in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea and the Korea-Philippine military-to-military and defense industry cooperation,” he told reporters.

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This is also after the South Korean Embassy released a statement, joining other states, in calling out what he calls “actions that raise tensions” in the South China Sea, shortly after Chinese Coast Guard vessels used water cannons against Philippine Coast Guard vessels last August.

“Since my arrival, I felt strongly (that) we should add our voice to the growing concern about the situation. So our embassy issued a statement,” he said.

Lee mentioned that Manila and Seoul are working on some agreements on maritime cooperation, but did not specify what those agreements are and is not sure whether talks will conclude before the bilateral meeting.

He noted that there is a growing support for Korea’s more active role in the maritime domain awareness, which is defined by issues like the “environment, maritime economy, and security and stability”, which he expects will enhance the cooperation in that direction.

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Last year, South Korea and the Philippines inaugurated the Maritime Cooperation Dialogue in Busan

During the first meet, the two states agreed to exchange best practices, enhance capacity-building programs, including in defense and maritime law enforcement, and explore partnerships on technology transfer in maritime transport and maritime education.

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