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S. Korea, ASEAN nations agree to boost defense ties

South Korean Vice Defense Minister Park Jae-min (right) attends a defense dialogue with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Sept. 8, 2021, in this photo provided by the defense ministry. (Yonhap)
South Korean Vice Defense Minister Park Jae-min (right) attends a defense dialogue with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Sept. 8, 2021, in this photo provided by the defense ministry. (Yonhap)


South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed Wednesday to boost exchanges and cooperation in security and defense fields, Seoul's defense ministry said.

The meeting between Vice Minister Park Jae-min and his counterparts from 10 Southeast Asian nations took place via video links on the sidelines of the Seoul Defense Dialogue which kicked off in the day for a three-day run.

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

During the talks, Park introduced the country's New Southern Policy that aims at deepening ties with ASEAN, and vowed continued efforts for peace and stability in the Asian and Pacific regions by further invigorating multilateral cooperative mechanisms, according to the ministry.

"The two sides agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in defense and related industries, as well as in non-security fields," the ministry said.

The vice-ministerial dialogue has been held on an annual basis since being launched in 2017, excluding last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's SDD brought together senior officials from major countries including the United States, Japan, China and Russia, as well as civilian experts, who will explore ways of cooperation in various security fields such as the global health crisis, and cyber and space threats, according to the ministry. (Yonhap)

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