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S. Korea, Japan vice defense chiefs to discuss cooperation

Vice defense ministers of South Korea and Japan will hold talks in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss regional security and ways to enhance bilateral defense cooperation.

South Korean Vice Defense Minister Lee Young-geol and his Japanese counterpart Kimito Nakae are also expected to exchange views on issues concerning North Korean military threats.

Their talks were arranged after the defense chiefs of the two countries agreed in January to hold a vice-minister-level meeting on a regular basis as part of efforts to enhance exchanges among high-level defense officials.

Observers said that the two might also discuss the need to establish agreements on the protection of military secrets and cooperation in exchanging military supplies and services during disaster rescue efforts and other operations.

These issues were brought up when the defense chiefs of the two countries met in Seoul in January.

During his two-day visit that ends Wednesday, Nakae will also meet South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and visit the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjeom in the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas.

“This meeting will contribute to developing the bilateral military relationship into a future-oriented one,” the Defense Ministry said in a press release.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)
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