Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed on Tuesday his desire to invite North Korea to become a dialogue partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“You know, I always wanted to invite you here,” Duterte, who is a also chairperson of ASEAN in 2017, told North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, as quoted by the SunStar media outlet.
The Philippine president added that North Korea “would be a good dialogue partner.”
Ri reportedly thanked Duterte for the initiative.
The statement was made less than a week after Duterte criticized North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
ASEAN has 10 dialogue partners, which are India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia, the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and China.