Duterte may visit US to discuss North Korea situation with President Trump

MANILA-- President Rodrigo Duterte may visit the United States (US) within the next few months to discuss with US President Donald Trump the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

In a statement, Acting Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said it seemed that the US wanted to consult with its allies and strategic partners in Asia on approach to tensions over Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Bolivar said there had not yet been any firm agreement on the dates of the President Duterte's trip, but most likely in the next few months because the topic is urgent.

He added the arrangement for his US visit would be tackled through diplomatic channels.

President Trump made a phone call to President Duterte Saturday on the sidelines of the gala dinner hosted by the latter for the head of states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, and invited him to the White House to discuss the importance of the US-Philippines alliance.

Trump also said he was looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November to participate in the East Asia Summit and the US-ASEAN Summit.

Bolivar further said the US has yet to send a formal written invitation for President Duterte to come to the US.

He added a letter may be sent to formally accept the US invitation.

Meanwhile, 10 ASEAN member states expressed grave concern over recent developments in the Korean Peninsula, including the DPRK's two nuclear tests in 2016 and subsequent ballistic missile launches.

In a Chairman's Statement issued after the conclusion of the 30th ASEAN Summit, ASEAN heads of state stressed the importance of exercising self-restraint in the interest of maintaining peace, security and stability in the region and the world.

They urged the DPRK to immediately comply fully with its obligations arising from all relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Source: Philippines News Agency