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“Korea/Australia defense industry and military cooperation further deepen”

A press conference was held after the Foreign and Defense Ministers’ meeting

Minister Shin Won Sik mentioned “momentum for future-oriented development”

Various types of combined exercises will continue

Minister Shin welcomed the AUKUS considering including Korea as its pillar 2 partner


Defense Minister Shin Won Sik (far right) is at a

Defense Minister Shin Won Sik (far right) is at a joint press conference after the Sixth ROK-Australia Foreign and Defense Ministers’ (2+2) Meeting on May 1. From left, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles, ROK Foreign Minister Cho Tae Yul, and Minister Shin.


Defense Minister Shin Won Sik expressed his commitment to further developing defense industry and military relationships with Australia. He welcomed AUKUS, a trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific region between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which is considering the inclusion of South Korea as a Pillar 2 partner country.


Before announcing the outcome of the meeting at the joint press conference after the Sixth ROK-Australia Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting (2+2) in Melbourne on May 1, Minister Shin said, “We have gained valuable momentum to develop the bilateral partnership into a forward-looking one in a grave global security environment.”


Minister Shin added, “Both countries agreed to further develop a mutually beneficial defense industry cooperation.”


He continued, “I am very pleased to hear that a Korean firm has been selected for a USD 2.5 billion next-generation infantry combat vehicle project in December 2023, following the self-propelled howitzer project in 2021. Yesterday I visited the Korean company’s facility in Geelong and confirmed the vibrant defense industry cooperation between the two countries.” He stressed that “bilateral defense industry cooperation will contribute to the modernization of the Australian Defense Force, boost the regional economy and ultimately strengthen bilateral strategic solidarity.”


Minister Shin added, “Military exercises between South Korea and Australia will be expanded to enhance interoperability and promote peace and stability in the region, and the two countries have decided to deepen the level of military cooperation by further expanding combined exercises in various forms.”


Korea sent the largest contingent of ROK personnel to the Talisman Sabre 2023 exercise in Australia and achieved significant success. The Australian Defense Force, a member of the United Nations Command (UNC), participated in the Freedom Shield (FS) combined exercise and confirmed Korea’s readiness to wage war in the event of an emergency.


Minister Shin went on to say, “Recognizing the importance of building a relationship of trust in defense and defense industry cooperation, both countries will continue to expand personnel exchanges through defense-related institutions.”


Responding to questions about Korea’s participation in AUKUS Pillar 2, he said, “We support AUKUS’s efforts to promote regional peace and stability in the region and welcome its consideration of including Korea as a Pillar 2 partner.”


He added, “I expect Korea’s excellent defense science and technology capabilities to contribute to the development of AUKUS Pillar 2 and regional peace, and we will continue to communicate with the AUKUS on Pillar 2 partner issues.”


The AUKUS consists of Pillar 1 and Pillar 2. Pillar 1 refers to a plan for the United States and the UK to provide Australia with a nuclear-powered submarine fleet, and Pillar 2 is about co-developing a range of advanced capabilities with partner countries in eight areas, including quantum technologies, hypersonic systems and AI. In Pillar 2, partner countries can be added to the U.S., UK and Australia.

By Hyun-woo, Seo <>

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