By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine Navy (PN) and Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy have committed to further improve the two nation’s military cooperation with the visit of the latter’s Navy chief in the country.
Admiral Sim Seung-Seob, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) of ROK Navy, arrived at the Navy Headquarters in Manila on Friday as part of his two-day official visit to the Philippines.
Lieutenant Commander Maria Christina Roxas, Navy public affairs chief, said Sim was accorded with arrival honors at the Naval Station Jose Andrada as he paid a courtesy call on Admiral Robert Empedrad, PN Flag Officer in Command.
“Admiral Sim expressed his appreciation to the PN’s effort of maintaining a good relationship with [the] South Korean Navy,” Roxas said in a statement on Saturday.
“He then underscored the importance of [our] naval cooperation and coordination, citing his visit as an opportunity to further enhance the relationship between the two Navies,” she added.
Meanwhile, Empedrad acknowledged the PN’s partnership with its South Korean counterpart as “strategic and beneficial to the modernization efforts of the PN.”
Some of the official activities of Sim included wreath laying ceremony at the Korean War Memorial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City, and a courtesy call to the South
Korean Ambassador, Han Dong-Man.
The Republic of Korea has been one of the key defense partners of the PN with their noteworthy contributions to the latter’s modernization journey, said Roxas.
South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Inc., has built the pioneer missile-capable frigates of the PN — the BRP Jose Rizal and Antonio Luna. They are set to be delivered to the Philippines next year.
Further, the Philippine Navy acquired in August its most powerful ship to date, the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39), an ex-Pohang class corvette (small warship) which was donated by the South Korea to the Philippines.
In a recent interview in South Korea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said talks were on-going for the acquisition of two more corvettes from Hyundai Heavy Industries, Inc.