Sta. Romana presents credentials as envoy to North Korea

MANILA — Ambassador Jose Santiago “Chito” Sta. Romana on October 27 has presented his credentials as a non-resident envoy to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday confirmed.

Sta. Romana, who is also Philippine ambassador to China, said he presented his official letter of credentials as non-resident Ambassador to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, to Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

Sta. Romana said he exchanged views in Pyongyang with Kim, who also ranks as the second-highest official in the state, along with Vice Foreign Minister Choe Hui Chol and other Foreign Ministry officials.

Together with Sta. Romana are Minister of the Philippine Embassy in China Frank Olea and Third Secretary JJ Domingo from the Philippine Embassy in Beijing, China.

When asked what topics were discussed between the ambassador and Kim, DFA Acting Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar did not elaborate but said it must likely be about the envoy’s presentation of credentials.

The diplomatic relations between the Philippines and DPRK was established on July 12, 2000.

In September, Manila suspended trade with Pyongyang to comply with a United Nations Security Council resolution adopted on September 5 over its repeated nuclear detonation tests.

Sta. Romana hurdled the powerful Commission on Appointments in December 2016 as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of China with concurrent jurisdiction over DPRK and Mongolia.

During his appointment hearing with the CA, he received an overwhelming show of support from the members of the bicameral body.

The CA website also noted that Sta. Romana’s expertise in China has “wowed most of the legislators” questioning his knowledge on foreign relations and policy to China during the committee deliberations. Joyce Ann  Rocamora/