South Korea's defense chief seeks to boost defense ties with partners

By Yonhap
  • Published : May 31, 2019 - 21:57
  • Updated : Jun 2, 2019 - 09:38

South Korea's Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo sought to promote defense exchanges and cooperation with Vietnam, NATO and Singapore and asked for their backing for Seoul's efforts to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, his office said Friday.  

Jeong made the appeals during back-to-back bilateral talks with Vietnam's Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich; Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, chairman of the NATO Military Committee; and Singapore's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, a security forum under way in Singapore.  

During the talks between South Korea and Vietnam, the two sides shared a positive assessment of their bilateral cooperation in the military and defense industry sectors and vowed continued development of their ties.  Jeong and Peach pledged to strive to further boost bilateral military ties in such areas as personnel exchanges and cybersecurity, the ministry added.  Ways of deepening defense ties were also a key topic in the talks between South Korea and Singapore.  

South Korea`s Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo with Vietnam`s Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich (Yonhap)

Throughout the bilateral meetings, Jeong underscored the need to build trust between the two Koreas and Seoul's ongoing efforts for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and building a lasting peace, according to the ministry.  

In response, the officials reaffirmed their continued support for South Korea's initiatives in the area, it noted.  South and North Korea signed the Comprehensive Military Agreement during the third inter-Korean summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in September 2018, which includes a series of measures such as the stopping of all hostile acts against each other, to reduce tensions on the peninsula and build trust.  

Negotiations on North Korea's nuclear program, however, have been effectively stalled since the no-deal summit between U.S. (Yonhap)