S. Korea’s defense minister meets Australian ambassador

SEOUL– Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup met with Australia’s ambassador to South Korea on Wednesday to discuss defense cooperation and other issues, Seoul’s defense ministry said.

During the talks with Ambassador Catherine Raper, Lee said that defense cooperation between the two nations has steadily been developing as he cited the elevation of bilateral ties to a “comprehensive strategic partnership” late last year.

Lee also pointed to his meetings with his Australian counterpart, Richard Marles, earlier this year as an example of deepening bilateral cooperation in the defense sector.

Lee and Marles held talks on the sidelines of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in June as well as during Lee’s trip to Australia in August, when he visited a K9 self-propelled howitzer factory of the South Korean company Hanwha Defense there.

Raper voiced hopes that the two countries will hold another defense ministerial meeting when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus takes place in Cambodia next week, the ministry said.

The two sides also discussed North Korea’s recent saber-rattling, and Raper expressed Canberra’s “invariable” support for Seoul’s ongoing peace efforts, the ministry added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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