MANILA, Philippines – North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s recent historic act of diplomacy has earned him the respect of President Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier labeled the North Korean to be a threat in the region.
President Duterte was “very much relieved” after the North and South Korea both agreed to end Korean war pursue permanent peace in the Korean Peninsula, according to the Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Friday night, April 27.
“Of course everyone is relieved because we were all looking at the prospects of a nuclear encounter in our backyard,” Roque said when Duterte asked about the good news.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in cross the border line at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Friday, April 27, 2018. (Korea Summit Press Pool via AP)[/caption]
“As you know, whenever they test their missiles, it always lands in Philippine waters,” Roque added in a press conference on Friday in Singapore, where President Duterte is attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday issued a statement on “the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.”
“Alam mo, naging idol ko tuloy siya (You know what, he became my idol),” the Philippine President added. “For all the time he was pictured to be the bad boy in the community.”
Mr. Duterte praised Kim for showing North Korea’s commitment to strive for denuclearization in the peninsula, and for its ultimate decision to end its decades-long rift with neighboring country — the South Korea.
“I think that to me, the man of the hour would be Kim Jong-Un,” Duterte further said couple of days after the historic inter-Korean summit held at the truce village of Panmunjeom.
Duterte also reiterated that he is hoping to meet the North Korean leader “to congratulate him.” He said perhaps Kim could also consider him as a good friend.