S. Korea probes trash shipment to PH, vows to take it back ‘as soon as possible’

Marje Pelayo   •   November 22, 2018   •   3846

Tons of garbage from South Korea

MANILA, Philippines – The South Korean government has initiated an investigation into the shipment of over 5,000 tons of trash discovered in Misamis Oriental some two weeks ago.

In a statement posted on its website on Thursday (November 22), the South Korean Embassy in the Philippines said concerned home agencies has already launched an investigation on the Korean exporter who happened to misdeclare the contents of the shipment.

“The Ministry of Environment on November 21 initiated legal procedure to have the wastes in question in the Philippines be brought back in accordance with Article 20 of the Law on Cross-border movement and Disposal of Wastes—Prior Notice of Repatriation Order—and embarked on investigation of the violation of Article 18-2 of the said law—False Export Declaration,” the statement reads.

It added that the South Korean government vowed to “take measures to have the wastes in question be brought back to Korea as soon as possible” and promised “to prevent the recurrence of the problem” in the future. – Marje Pelayo

South Korean military says North Korea fired two projectiles

Robie de Guzman   •   September 10, 2019

Chief of Public Affairs in Joint Chief of Staff (JCS), Kim Joon-Rak

North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles on Tuesday (September 10) morning, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, hours after a senior diplomat announced Pyongyang would be willing to resume negotiations with the United States later in September.

The “short-range projectiles” were launched from around Kaechon in South Pyongan province at around 7:00 a.m. KST (2200 GMT Monday) towards the east and flew about 330 km (205 miles), according to the JCS.

Tuesday’s launch was the eighth by North Korea since U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met at the heavily militarized border between the two Koreas in June.

The launches came after North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said on Monday (September 9) Pyongyang was willing to have “comprehensive discussions” with the United States in late September at a time and place to be agreed. (Reuters)

(Production: Dogyun Kim, Minwoo Park)

South Korea’s destroyer, fast combat support ships now in PHL

Robie de Guzman   •   September 2, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Two ships of the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) are currently in Manila’s South Harbor for a three-day goodwill visit.

The Philippine Navy welcomed the arrival of the South Korean ships, Munmu the Great (DDH-976) and Hwacheon (AOE-59), classified as destroyer and fast combat support ship, respectively.

The two vessels are part of South Korea’s Cruise Training Task Group comprised of more than 600 navy personnel and around 100 cadets led by its commander, Read Admiral Yang Min Soo.

“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,” Littoral Combat Force of the Philippine Fleet (PF), Commodore Rey Dela Cruz said during a welcome ceremony held aboard one of the Korean ships.

Yang, for his part, thanked the Philippine Navy for welcoming the Cruise Training Task Group adding that the visit coincided with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Republic of Korea.

He also recognized the Philippine Navy as the “first to dispatch ground forces to support Republic of Korea during the Korean War.”

“ROKN will forever remember the noble sacrifice of PH forces… [the goodwill visit will be the] time to commemorate the war veterans and enhance exchange cooperation with the Philippine Navy,” he said.

During the three-day visit, Yang and his men will have several engagements including confidence building activities with their Filipino counterparts which entail shipboard tour, reciprocal receptions, sports events and joint performances in Luneta Park, Manila.

Yang and his men will also pay courtesy call to Flag Officer in Command, PN, Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad and PF Commander, Rear Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo.

A send-off ceremony with customary Passing Exercise (PASSEX) will cap off said visit, the Philippine Navy said.

The visit is expected to further strengthen the already strong ties between the Philippines and South Korea.

The two nations’ ties dates 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.

South Korea to scrap intelligence-sharing pact with Japan amid history feud

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

South Korea’s deputy director of the National Security Council (NSC), Kim You-Geun | Courtesy: Reuters

South Korea said on Thursday (August 22) it will scrap an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, a decision that could further escalate a dispute over history and trade and undercut security cooperation on North Korea.

The decision was announced after an hours-long debate within the presidential National Security Council (NSC).

Japan created a “grave change” in the environment for bilateral security cooperation by removing South Korea’s fast-track export status, citing security concerns without providing clear evidence, said Kim You-geun, a deputy director of the National Security Council.

The General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was due to be automatically renewed on Saturday (August 24), unless either side decided to cancel it. (Reuters)

(Production: Dogyun Kim, Minwoo Park)

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