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South Korea – US and South Korea – ASEAN…Full Range of 'Defense Diplomacy'

South Korean Defense Minister shares Korean Peninsula situation and PyeongChang Olympic cooperation plan with US Defense Secretary Mattis

 

Trip to ASEAN countries beginning January 28

Keynote speech at Singapore opening forum

Meeting with defense ministers of Indonesia and Thailand

 

The South Korea US defense ministers' talks were held in Hawaii on January 26th (local time). On January 28th, the Defense Ministry made the following announcement: “Defense minister Song, Young-moo held talks with US Defense Secretary James Mattis in Hawaii, in the afternoon of January 26th, local time." Senior defense ministry officers from both countries attended the talks.

According to the Defense Ministry, it was during their telephone conversation on January 5th that Minister Song and Secretary Mattis agreed to pursue more opportunities to communicate person-to-person. After receiving notification from the US of Secretary Mattis's trip to the Asia-Pacific region, defense ministers' talks was scheduled to be held in Hawaii. At a regular briefing later that day, Defense Ministry Spokesperson Choi, Hyun-soo said "Since Secretary Mattis will be visiting the Pacific region and Minister Song is set to travel to Southeast Asia, the talks will be held when they are both going to be in Hawaii.” Through the talks, South Korea and the United States will share their assessment of the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, and will engage in in-depth discussions about a cooperation plan for the safe and peaceful hosting of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and other various pending issues related to the South Korea-US alliance.

From January 28 to February 3, Minister Song will visit the ASEAN countries, including this year's chair of ASEAN Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand to contribute to the implementation of our government's "New Southern Policy." On January 29, Minister Song is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at a multilateral security forum, the "6th Fullerton Forum," which is going to be held in Singapore for the first time. The keynote speech will be given at the invitation of the International Institution for Strategic Studies (IISS), which is hosting the forum. Minister Song plans to talk about peaceful solutions to North Korea's nuclear and missile problems and a plan for cooperation among the international community to respond to the traditional and non-traditional security threats through a speech on the "security challenge on the Korean Peninsula and multilateral security cooperation among the Asia-Pacific countries. After the speech, Minister Song will hold talks with Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen to discuss defense-related pending issues between the two countries, and will also pay a courtesy visit to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 

Next, the three-country trip will take Minister Song to Indonesia and Thailand, where he will hold talks with Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and Thailand Vice Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan in order to discuss pending defense-related issues and plans to improve defense cooperation. In the meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu, Minister Song will discuss the status of the KF-X/IF-X business and submarine purchase business in order to examine the potential for additional defense cooperation. In Thailand, the two ministers will discuss issues of mutual concern to push forward reciprocal defense cooperation. During the visit to the two countries, Minister Song is also scheduled to pay a courtesy visit to the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo and Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha. “We expect that Minister Song's trip to the ASEAN countries will contribute to the implementation of our government's "New Southern Policy" in the security area by strengthening international cooperation for North Korean nuclear disarmament and by improving defense cooperation with ASEAN countries,” commented a Defense Ministry spokesperson.  


Defense Minister




By Yeong-Sun, Lee < ys119@dema.mil.kr >

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