The Philippines and South Korea are expected to discuss China’s ploy in the West Philippine Sea in a maritime dialogue scheduled next week.
During the National Day and Armed Forces Day of the Republic of Korea, South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Sang-Hwa announced that the second round of maritime dialogue may center on the issues regarding the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, based on an Unang Balita report of GMA Integrated News’ JP Soriano.
“We are expecting to cover a variety of issues ranging from protection of our maritime ecosystem, and safety and security in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, and you know, the Korea-Philippine military-to-military and defense industry cooperation,” Lee said.
The Philippines and South Korea’s maritime dialogue was set in light of the massive coral harvesting along the Rozul Reef, and China’s usage of water cannons against Philippine vessels, blocking of resupply mission in Ayungin Shoal, and installation of floating barrier in the Scarborough Shoal.
“I felt strongly that we should add our voice to the growing concern about the situation,” Lee said.
South Korea is an ally of the United States, and has a strong military alliance with Japan.
Lee met with Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., and US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson during the event. Armed Forces chief General Romeo Brawner Jr. was also present. — Giselle Ombay/RSJ, GMA Integrated News