PDP-Laban to hold historic meeting with North Korean party
MANILA, Philippines – Ruling Philippine political party PDP-Laban is set to meet with its North Korean counterpart in an effort to forge "a more meaningful relationship" between Filipinos and North Koreans.
In a statement on Sunday, July 15, PDP-Laban said this is the "first-ever visit by a Philippine political party to the North Korean capital" of Pyongyang.
The 4-person PDP-Laban delegation is scheduled to leave for North Korea on Tuesday, July 17. Their meetings with the ruling Worker's Party of Korea will be held from Wednesday to Friday, July 18 to 20.
The PDP-Laban delegation is composed of the following:
- Former Eastern Samar Governor Lutgardo Barbo, PDP-Laban vice president for the Visayas
- Ronwald Munsayac, chairman of the PDP-Laban public information committee
- Raymundo Roquero, vice chairman of the PDP-Laban public information committee
- Evan Rebadulla
"This is strictly party-to-party diplomacy. The invitation was extended to us months ago, and we feel that this visit could not have come at a better time," said Raul Lambino, PDP-Laban vice president for international affairs.
"We are hoping that this ground-breaking initiative will open new doors for further talks, and new opportunities for a more meaningful relationship between our two peoples," Lambino added.
He said the highlight of the meeting is the signing of a memorandum of understanding "affirming their friendship and promoting greater understanding and more meaningful party-to-party talks in the future."
The meeting comes in the face of global efforts to disarm the isolated, nuclear-armed North in exchange for easing of sanctions and other help with economic development.
PDP-Laban, the party of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, earlier established ties with the Communist Party of China and United Russia, the political party of Russian President Vladimir Putin. – with a report from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com