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Republic of Korean military vows to contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia based on strong power

Opening “Seoul Defense Dialogue 2019”

High-level defense officials and civilian security experts from 56 countries attended … four plenary sessions and three special sessions

In the plenary session on the first day, participants had a heated discussion on the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and challenges to peace in Northeast Asia

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon called for support from the international community … Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo highlighted “Building Peace Together”



Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD) 2019 kicked off in Seoul on September 5, with the aim of promoting peace and stability in Northeast Asia and enhancing the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region. On that day, the Ministry of National Defense hosted the opening ceremony, plenary sessions and special sessions of the SDD at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul.

High-level defense officials and civil security experts from 56 countries and five international organizations attended Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD) 2019, which was held under the theme of “Building Peace Together: Challenges and Visions.” During the two-day SDD period, four plenary sessions and three special sessions will take place, and the representatives from participating countries are scheduled to hold bilateral and multilateral talks individually.

The Commander of U.S. Forces Korea General Robert Abrams attended the dialogue as a chief representative from the United States. Koji Yoshino, chief of the International Policy Division of Japan's Defense Ministry; Fi Ming Yong, vice president of China's Institute of Military Science; and Alexander Novikov, chief of International Military Cooperation Division of the Defense Ministry in Russia visited Republic of Korea to attend the dialogue as representatives of their respective countries.


The first and second plenary sessions held on September 4 were moderated by special presidential advisor for unification, diplomacy and national security affairs Moon Chung-in and Yonsei University professor Kim Ki-jeong. In the first plenary session, panelists from five countries – Park Jae-min, vice Minister of National Defense in Republic of Korea; Joseph DeTrani, a professor at Missouri State University (United States); Han Fang Ming, vice chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; Satoshi Morimoto, president of Takushoku University in Japan; Feodor Voitolovsky, director of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Russia – held a discussion under the theme “Peace Process on the Korean Peninsula and International Cooperation.” In the second plenary session, chairman of the Global Strategy Division of Halifax International Security Forum (United States) Dean Pilk, chairman of Shanghai Institute of International Matters (China) Chundong Xiao, visiting professor at the Policy Research Graduate University (Japan) Douguchi Hideshi, and director of Institute of International Strategy Affairs (France) Pascal Boniface had heated discussions under the theme “Peace in Northeast Asia: Challenges and Tasks.” In the first and second special sessions, experts from their respective countries exchanged opinions on the topics of “ASEAN: Regional Security and Balance” and “International Cooperation to Restore Peace in the Middle East.”

In his congratulatory remarks, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon called for the support of the international community to build peace on the Korean Peninsula. “Republic of Korea will play its part by actively joining the multilateral security cooperation system to ensure the establishment of a permanent peace on the peninsula. We ask for global understanding of and cooperation in Republic of Korea’s efforts,” Lee said, mentioning that Republic of Korean government is trying to break up the cold war on the Korean Peninsula and join the multilateral security cooperation system simultaneously.

In his opening speech, Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo mentioned that Republic of Korea is seeking to build what he called ‛peace through power.’ “Our military will ensure our strong defense power to back the government’s efforts to protect our country and the people,” he said, adding that “Republic of Korea will surely achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula based on its ‛strong power,’ and contribute to peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia and around the world.”

With respect to the recent security situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula, Minister Jeong voiced concerns over the “intensifying competition among countries in the region which are pursuing their own national interests by creating conflicts with neighboring countries." Mentioning a wide range of security threats, such as terror, cyber threats, and disasters, Minister Jeong suggested “multilateral security cooperation and joint response through honest talks” as a solution. “All the countries should cooperate together. This is ‛building peace together’,” he argued. “Countries around the world need to be having dialogue to build mutual trust and share their vision for security cooperation to seek sustainable and practical solutions,” he suggested. Stressing that freedom of navigation and flying in open waters should be ensured, Minister Jeong commented “We should ease tensions in the international community by thoroughly observing internationally established rules and coordinating mutual interests and conflicts.” “Interest and passion for peace and prosperity in the world, courage to face reality and dispassionate reason, and hope for a bright future that will be brought about through cooperation will build mutual trust and lead us to a true peace,” he added.

By Su-Yeol, Maeng < >
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  • (Presentation and Follow-on discussion)