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Defense chiefs of S. Korea and Sweden to hold talks

Defense chiefs of South Korea and Sweden will hold talks in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss ways to enhance bilateral military exchanges and cooperation in the defense industry, officials at the Ministry of National Defense said Monday.

Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and his Swedish counterpart Sten Tolgfors will also exchange views on issues concerning regional security and peace, officials said.

During their talks, Kim is expected to seek support for South Korea’s defense policies from Sweden, which has maintained close military ties with South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The ministry hopes that good relations with Sweden will help expand its “military diplomacy” to other countries in Northern Europe.

Sweden was the first country to send medical staff to support South Korea during the fratricidal war. It has also dispatched its military staff to the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission at the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjeom.

During his stay here, he is scheduled to meet key government officials including Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan.

Before leaving Seoul on Wednesday, he is also to visit a set of security sites including the Navy’s Second Fleet Command where the wreckage of the corvette Cheonan is on display and the border village.

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