S. Korea, China agree to establish two more military hotlines
SEOUL, March 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and China agreed Tuesday to set up two more military hotlines to prevent incidents and enhance trust, Seoul's defense ministry said.
The defense ministries of the two neighbors signed a revised memorandum of understanding on the establishment of direct communication lines between their air forces and navies, according to the ministry.
Currently, Seoul and Beijing maintain three hotlines -- one between their defense ministries, and two between their air forces and navies.
While the current lines are connected with China's northern theater command, the new ones will be linked to its eastern theater command.
"(The new hotlines) will help enhance the communication between the South Korean and the Chinese military authorities, which is expected to prevent accidental clashes in the air and the sea and to bring trust one notch higher," the ministry said in a statement. "The move will also help ease tensions and establish peace in the Korean Peninsula and the region."
Chinese warplanes have often entered South Korea's air defense identification zone (KADIZ), and the two sides have communicated on the matter through their military hotline.
On Tuesday, Seoul and Beijing also held the 19th round of working-level defense talks to explore ways to promote peace on the peninsula and boost the bilateral defense exchanges.
"The two nations exchanged their assessments of the recent security situation on the peninsula and issues of mutual interests, and agreed to make efforts together for the actual progress of the peace process," the ministry said.
At the meeting, South Korea was represented by Kim Sang-jin, director general of international policy at the Ministry of National Defense, and China by Maj. Gen. Song Yanchao, deputy director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China's Ministry of National Defense.
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