Minister Pato welcomes new Republic of Korea envoy

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Rimbink Pato has welcome the new Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Papua New Guinea, His Excellency, Kwak Bum-soc.

Minister Pato said his (Bum-soc’s) tour of duty to PNG which will further enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries.

He thanked the Korean Government for their on-going support for bilateral development assistance since the two countries formed diplomatic ties in 1976.

“The Korean Government supports Papua New Guinea through development assistance. For instance, the upgrading of Jackson s Airport should be given to a Korean company in which a follow up can be done with a relevant PNG authority particularly Department of National Planning and Monitoring,” Minister Pato said.

On fisheries issues, Pato noted that there is still an existing bilateral access agreement signed in 2015 between PNG and Korea, which allows Korean fishing vessels access to fish in PNG waters.

“The Air Services Agreement (ASA) was signed on November 13, 2015 and ratified by the PNG National Parliament on August 6, 2016.”

He added that officials from both side need to complete the necessary outstanding process in order to have flights commencing from Port Moresby to Seoul and vice versa.

He further stressed that such development assistance on the Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) signed in 1983 between the two countries needs to be strengthened and requested for the Korean Government to increase the number of Papua New Guineans to attend training programs ¡n Korea.

On the issue of North Korea, Minister Pato reiterated that the PNG Government continues to maintain its position in condemning all nuclear tests done by North Korea, as this poses a threat to peace and security in the region.

Minister Pato further conveyed words of appreciation to the Korean Government for their support to PNG in the APEC meetings and assured that PNG is looking forward to welcoming the Korean President in 2018.

Freddy Mou