The Korea Herald


S. Korea, Japan hold 1st meeting of senior defense officials in 9 years

By Yonhap

Published : July 10, 2024 - 21:20

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The logo of Ministry of National Defense (Ministry of National Defense) The logo of Ministry of National Defense (Ministry of National Defense)

South Korea and Japan held joint talks between their senior defense officials in Tokyo on Wednesday, the defense ministry said, amid efforts to improve bilateral ties and deter threats from North Korea.

It marked the first time the director general-level meeting was held since August 2015. The meeting had usually been held on an annual basis since it was launched in 1994.

Lee Seung-beom, director general for international policy at the defense ministry, and his Japanese counterpart, Atsushi Ando, discussed regional security circumstances, as well as defense exchange and cooperation in the latest meeting, the ministry said in a release.

A ministry official said the meeting focused on exploring possible areas of cooperation with the resumption of the talks, rather than discussing pending issues.

The latest meeting came a month after the defense chiefs of South Korea and Japan agreed to take measures to prevent the recurrence of a 2018 maritime spat over a Japanese patrol aircraft, which had remained a source of friction for years.

In their talks held on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Defense Minister Shin Won-sik and his Japanese counterpart, Minoru Kihara, also agreed to conduct regular vice defense ministerial talks and resume working-level policy meetings in order to rebuild mutual trust.

The agreement came as South Korea, the United States and Japan have been moving to deepen their trilateral security cooperation against North Korea's evolving threats. The three nations held their first-ever multidomain trilateral exercise Freedom Edge in late June.