Aquino, Park celebrate PH-Sokor friendship
SEOUL—President Aquino and South Korean President Park Geun-hye offered toasts to the friendship of the Philippines and South Korea during the state dinner held in honor of Aquino at the Blue House.
Aquino cited the deep bonds of the two countries starting with the sending of Philippine troops to help defend South Korea during the Korean War to the assistance that South Korea has given to the Philippines with loan projects such as the Laguindingan Airport Development Project and the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project.
Aquino thanked South Korea for being host to almost 50,000 Filipinos living and working in Korea and hopes that Koreans in the Philippines also enjoy the same hospitality there.
Aquino compared Park with his mother who was also became the first female president of the country.
“Indeed, your presidency is itself historic. Just as my mother was the first Filipina to lead my country, you hold the unique privilege of serving and leading your nation as its first female president. It is my hope that you will find the resilience and strength to guide your people towards a more vibrant future for Korea,” Aquino said.
Park, in turn, noted the history of Aquino’s father in South Korea, having been sent as a Manila Times correspondent covering the Korean War at the age of 17.
“As I see it, that sacrifice and dedication have been passed down to the next generation, paving the way for our precious meeting today. May the events of today mark the beginning of deeper ties of friendship between our two countries and a happier future awaiting both our peoples,” she said.
She also lauded the performance of the Philippine economy “as a promising investment destination and trade partner.”
She said culture has also united the Filipino and Korean peoples with their love of Korean pop culture and Koreanovela. Park also recognized the role of immigrant Jasmine Lee who now serves as an assemblywoman.