South Korea destroyer, support ship arrive in Manila
A destroyer and a fast combat support ship of the South Korean arrived in Manila on Monday.
Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, acting director of the Naval Public Affairs Office, said Munmu The Great and Hwacheon are part of the Cruise Training Task Group comprising more than 600 Navy personnel and around 100 cadets headed by its commander, Rear Adm. Yang Minsoo.
"The Philippine Navy vessel, Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Apolinario Mabini, rendered customary meeting procedure at the vicinity of Corregidor Island and escorted the vessels to their designated berthing area," she said.
"PN delegates led by the commander of the Littoral Combat Force of the Philippine Fleet (PF), Commodore Rey Dela Cruz, then accorded the visiting South Korean Navy a welcome ceremony upon arrival followed by a port briefing on security and health aboard one of the Korean ships," she added.
In his remarks, Dela Cruz emphasized that the “presence of these two Korea Navy vessels and its contingent underscores the continuing efforts of the Philippines and Korea to strengthen the relationship between our governments and navies.”
After expressing his gratitude for the warm welcome, Yang said the visit coincided with the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Philippine and South Korea.
"The Philippine was the first nation to dispatched ground forces to support the Republic of Korea in the Korean war, moreover this year is the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties with this country," he said.
Yang also expressed hope that "visit of Cruise Training Task Group would provide the valuable opportunity for the increase of bilateral exchange cooperation."
Roxas said during their stay in the country "Rear Adm. Yang and his party are scheduled to have a courtesy call on the Flag Officer in Command, PN, Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad and Philippine Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo."
"Also lined up are confidence building activities between the visiting navy and their Filipino counterparts on the following days which include shipboard tour, reciprocal receptions, sports events and joint performances in Luneta Park, Manila," she said.
"A send-off ceremony with customary Passing Exercise will cap off said visit," she added.
Roxas emphasized that "this interaction between South Korean and Philippine navies is expected to further strengthen the already strong ties between the two nations which can be traced back to 1949 when the Philippines became the fifth country to recognize the Republic of Korea, and during the Korean War in 1950s when the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea was deployed for the defense of ROK." Robina Asido/DMS