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S. Korea, Australia vow to boost defense cooperation during ministerial talks

Diplomacy 14:18 September 13, 2021

SEOUL, Sept. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook met with his Australian counterpart, Peter Craig Dutton, on Monday in Seoul and agreed to further strengthen cooperation in the security and defense industry fields, the defense ministry in Seoul said.

The talks took place as Dutton was in Seoul to attend the "two plus two" foreign and defense ministers' talks set to be held later in the day.

During the meeting, Suh and Dutton noted that South Korea had taken part in the large Australia-U.S. naval exercise named Talisman Sabre in July and plans to participate in the Australia-led multilateral air exercise named Pitch Black next year for the first time ever, according to the ministry.

The two sides agreed that such exercises would improve interoperability between the two militaries.

The two ministers also discussed their major defense programs and agreed to continue to work closely to deepen cooperation in the related industries, while vowing to "launch discussions to come up with a new, future-oriented institutional mechanism," according to the ministry.

"As Minister Suh explained the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, Dutton vowed his country's continued support for Seoul's efforts to engage with North Korea."

South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook (R) and Australian Defense Minister Peter Craig Dutton pose for photos ahead of their bilateral talks in Seoul on Sept. 13, 2021, in this photo provided by the defense ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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