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S. Korea, New Zealand agree to enhance defense cooperation

The defense chiefs of South Korea and New Zealand held talks in Seoul and agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in defense procurement, officials at the Ministry of National Defense said Tuesday.

Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and his New Zealand counterpart Wayne Mapp also exchanged their views on regional security issues and agreed to improve military cooperation in other areas, officials said.
Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and his New Zealand counterpart Wayne Mapp discuss bilateral military issues at the Defense Ministry in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)
Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and his New Zealand counterpart Wayne Mapp discuss bilateral military issues at the Defense Ministry in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)

The two sides also discussed ways to strengthen exchanges of military personnel and efforts to hold more working-level talks on defense policies, officials said.

Mapp was to wrap up his four-day visit to South Korea later in the day.

On Sunday, he attended a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of one of key battles during the 1950-53 Korean War. The Battle of Gapyeong took place on April 24, 1951, as the allied forces fought against Chinese troops to defend the town of the same name.

In his opening remarks, Mapp expressed gratitude to Kim for arranging the ceremony that was attended by hundreds of Korean War veterans from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Britain.

“I am very appreciative for having attended the ceremony, and the many veterans were very moving,” Mapp said.

New Zealand is one of the 21 countries which participated in the fratricidal war under the U.N. banner in support of South Korea. According to government data, New Zealand sent 3,794 combat troops to the South during the war. Of them, 24 were killed in action or went missing and 79 suffered injuries.

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