President Rodrigo Duterte will join his fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders in a commemorative summit with South Korean President Moon Ja-in on November 25 to 27 in Busan, Malacañang announced.

“Yes, tuloy siya (he will be there),” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in an interview with dzIQ, when asked if the President will participate in the Asean-South Korea commemorative summit.

The commemorative summit will be held in Busan to mark the 30th anniversary of the established relations between the Asean and South Korea.

Asean and South Korea first established sectoral dialogue relations in November 1989.

South Korea became a dialogue partner of the Southeast Asian bloc during the 24th Asean ministerial meeting in 1991 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In 2018, Asean was South Korea’s 2nd largest trading partner with an annual volume of USD160 billion, and the third-largest investment partner with USD6.1 billion.

Duterte, Moon to hold bilateral meet

On the sidelines of the commemorative summit, Duterte will most likely hold a bilateral meeting with Moon, Panelo said.

Panelo said the two leaders’ meeting will focus on issues of “common concern,” including Manila and Seoul’s cooperation in trade and security sectors.

“Basta naman may foreign business, palagi namang merong bilateral (There is always a bilateral meeting between two leaders, when there is a foreign business),” the Palace official said.

“Kung anong dapat pag-usapan sa pangangalakal, sa seguridad, lahat ng common concern ng dalawang bansang magmi-meet. ‘Yun ang palaging pag-uusapan (They will talk about trade, security and other issues of common concern of the two countries. Those are the issues that will be discussed),” he added.

The 74-year-old President has just participated in the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits held in Thailand from November 2 to 4.

Duterte went to Thailand, despite having muscle spasms triggered by his October 16 minor motorcycle accident at the compound of the Presidential Security Group in Manila. (PNA)