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S. Korea, China to hold inaugural defense strategic talks this week

All Headlines 09:22 July 25, 2011

SEOUL, July 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and China will hold their inaugural defense strategic talks this week in Seoul, the defense ministry here said Monday.

The first strategic dialogue is scheduled for Wednesday, the ministry said in a statement. Lee Yong-gul, the South's vice defense minister, and Air Force Gen. Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese Army, will lead each delegation, the ministry added.

"The two countries will discuss the regional security situation, including the North Korean issue," the statement said. "They will also talk about improving their bilateral defense exchanges."

The two countries agreed to open the annual strategic dialogue during the defense ministers' talks in Beijing earlier this month, so that they could better handle contingencies on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the region.

"We expect these strategic talks will raise the bilateral defense relations to a level that befits the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries," the ministry added.

During his visit, Ma will pay a courtesy call to South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and also tour a local Air Force unit, the ministry said.
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