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China's defense chief meets vice defense ministers from Koreas: Xinhua

China's Defense Minister Wei Fenghe held bilateral meetings with the vice defense ministers from the two Koreas and called for boosting cooperation with the respective countries, China's Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.

Wei Fenghe met with Seoul's Vice Defense Minister Park Jae-min on Sunday in Beijing on the sidelines of the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum that kicked off in the day for a three-day run until Tuesday, according to the news report.    

During the meeting, Wei Fenghe called for deepening high-level exchanges and professional cooperation, and respecting each other's key concerns, according to Xinhua.


Calling South Korea an important neighbor, he also stressed resolving sensitive issues properly, which would be a basis for developing the bilateral military ties and for protecting the regional security, it added.

Park also expressed South Korea's hope to strengthen communications with China and strategic confidence, and to jointly push for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a lasting peace regime.

Park is in Beijing for a three-day trip that began Sunday to attend the annual forum that brought together 500 government officials, and security experts from 68 countries and seven international organizations, according to Seoul's defense ministry.

In his meeting with North Korea's vice defense minster, Kim Hyong-ryong, the Chinese minister assessed that the two countries had "opened a new chapter" in their friendship thanks to several rounds of meetings between their leaders.

Wei Fenghe then called for strengthening strategic communication and pushing for working-level exchanges between Beijing and Pyongyang so as to deepen their military and overall relations further, according to Xinhua.

Kim replied that North Korea hopes to deepen friendly exchanges between their militaries so as to support the development of the bilateral relations, it added.

Later in the day, Park is scheduled to hold the fifth South Korea-China vice ministerial strategic defense dialogue with Lt. Gen. Shao Yuanming, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission, according to the ministry.

It will be the first one of its kind since 2014, as the annual dialogue has been suspended amid tensions between the two sides over Seoul's decision to host an advanced US missile defense system. (Yonhap)