SEOUL: The South Korean government congratulated President-elect Rodrigo Duterte for his electoral victory and expressed hope that the ties established by the Philippines and Korea in 1950 will continue to grow during his term.
Park Sung-choon, Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, said the Philippines and South Korea share close “blood ties” because the former was the first Asian country to send its troops to help defend the latter when it was attacked by North Korea in 1950. Park said his country will never forget the sacrifices of the thousands of young Filipino soldiers who fought alongside Koreans to stop the spread of communism in Asia.
“South Korea enjoys its independence because of the human sacrifice of soldiers, including Filipinos. We have not forgoten the sacrifices of UN forces and Philippine soldiers. We will do our best so that the sacrifice of these veterans will not be in vain,” Park said during the 118th Philippine Independence Day celebration of the Philippine Embassy in Seoul late Wednesday.
With North Korea’s continuous war posturing and frequent missile tests, the minister also appealed on the Philippines and other countries to continue the fight for peace.
“North Korea once again threatens the peace of South Korea and the world by conducting (nuclear) tests. The government and people of South Korea will unite and overcome these challenges. I firmly believe that with the support of the envoys present here and the world, we can overcome the North’s nuclear challenges and establish peace in Asia,” he said.
There are at least 40,000 Filipinos staying in S. Korea but there are 90,000 South Koreans living in the Philippines.