Philippine president to make state visit to S. Korea next month

SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Yonhap) -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino III will make a state visit to South Korea next month for talks with President Park Geun-hye about expanding economic cooperation and exchanges, the presidential office said Friday.

The Oct. 17-18 visit will be Aquino's first to South Korea since he took office in June 2010. The trip will also make him the first foreign leader to make a state visit to Seoul since Park took office in February.

Park and Aquino will hold a summit on Oct. 17 to discuss boosting cooperation in trade and investment between the two countries, development assistance for the Southeast Asian nation, regional security and other international issues, the presidential office said.

In particular, Park plans to focus on promoting economic and trade ties and defense industry cooperation in line with her "sales diplomacy" drive aimed at using diplomatic meetings to increase South Korea's economic interests at the summit, officials said.

She also plans to use the meeting to seek the Philippines' cooperation in ensuring the safety of about 90,000 South Koreans residing in the Southeast Asian nation and to increase consular cooperation between the two sides, the officials said.

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