Duterte congratulates new South Korean president

May 10, 2017 - 12:36 PM
South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with a child as he greets supporters and neighbors at his house in Seoul. (Baek Seung-ryol/Yonhap/Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte congratulated South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who took his oath of office Wednesday.

“On behalf of the Filipino nation, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wishes to extend his warm congratulations to Mr. Moon Jae-in on his election as the new President of the Republic of Korea,” Malacanang spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement as he noted the “strong, comprehensive and long-standing bilateral ties” between the two countries.

“The Philippines is committed to further enhancing the relations with the ROK under … Moon,” Abella said. “We wish him all the best.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping also congratulated Moon on Wednesday, state news agency Xinhua said.

Moon took his oath of office in a simple ceremony in the domed rotunda hall of the parliament building, a day after his liberal Democratic Party’s decisive victory in a snap election called to find a replacement for Park Geun-hye, who was ousted in March over a corruption scandal.

Soon after he was sworn in, he said he was prepared to visit North Korea and was ready to negotiate with China and the United States over a controversial anti-missile defense system.