Korea-China defense ministers meeting after 5 months… Lee Jong-seop “I hope China will play a constructive role in the North Korean nuclear issue”

Wei Fenghe, Minister of National Defense of China, “Problem solving through inter-party dialogue”

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Defense Minister Lee Jong-seop (left) holds a bilateral meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe who attended the 9th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-Plus) in Siem Reap, Cambodia on the 23rd (local time) and commemorates . picture. Provided by the Department of Defence

South Korea and China held a meeting of defense ministers in Cambodia on the 23rd for the first time in five months and discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula, including the North Korean nuclear issue, and plans for defense cooperation.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-seop held talks with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe in Siem Reap, Cambodia on the occasion of the 9th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-Plus), the Ministry of National Defense said. The meeting between the two ministers was five months after the bilateral meeting on the occasion of the Shangri-La Dialogue (Asian Security Conference) held in Singapore in June.

During the meeting, which lasted one hour and ten minutes, Minister Lee emphasized that it is not valid to argue that North Korea’s development of nuclear and missile capabilities is a response to the military exercises of the ROK-USA alliance and the threat of the United States. In addition, North Korea said that it had secretly developed nuclear weapons and missiles even during the period of dialogue between the two Koreas and the United States over the past few years. He argued that the claim that this was the case was not is nothing more than a shift of responsibility. In addition, Minister Lee asked the Chinese side to play a constructive role so that North Korea can come to the forum for dialogue after realizing that it has nothing to gain by upgrading its nuclear and missile capabilities.

Wei said that China does not want escalation and instability on the Korean Peninsula, and that China has continuously played an active and constructive role for stability on the Korean Peninsula.

In addition, the two Ministers mentioned the importance of strengthening cooperation through close strategic communication between defense authorities and various exchanges in order to develop future-oriented defense cooperation between Korea and China.

Considering the COVID-19 situation, mutual visits by defense ministers which have been suspended since 2015, defense strategic dialogues at the sub-ministerial level which have been suspended since 2019, the implementation of a contact system between the military authorities of the two countries, including a call direct telephone between the defense departments of the two countries, mutual visits and training at different levels In addition, the Ministry of National Defense announced the decision to normalize and expand personal exchanges, including student exchanges.

Minister Lee also presented the three visions and three principles of Korea’s Indo-Pacific Strategy announced by President Yoon Seok-yeol at the last ASEAN-Korea Summit.

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