BUSAN, South Korea — President Benigno S. Aquino III arrived here Thursday to join other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders for the 25th Anniversary of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.
On board chartered Philippine Airlines Flight PR001, President Aquino, together with his official delegation, touched down at the Gimhae Air Base here at 1:20 p.m.
Upon his arrival, the President was welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul Hernandez, South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Hyuk Lee, Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Kyung-soo, Busan City Vice Mayor Kim Jong-hae, and Deputy Secretary General of the Professional Conference Organizers Lee Won-woo.
On his first day here, the President had a bilateral meeting with Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye at the Westin Chosun Busan Hotel at 3:45 p.m.
President Park thanked President Aquino for pushing through with his visit, despite the devastation brought about by typhoon ‘Ruby’ (international name: Hagupit) in the Philippines. She expressed her sympathies to those who lost loved ones during the typhoon. She also vowed to further relations between South Korea and the Philippines.
President Aquino was joined by his official delegation, led by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Abad, Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, and Ambassador Hernandez.
He then met with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the Paradise Hotel. They were accompanied by their respective delegations during the bilateral meeting.
From the meeting, the President proceeded to BEXCO where he and other ASEAN leaders toured the Korean Traditional Arts and Crafts Exhibition.
The state leaders then attended the welcome dinner hosted by President Park, witnessing a cultural performance prepared by the South Korean government for the visiting ASEAN leaders.