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Korea and Australia, key partners in the Indo-Pacific region, enhance defense cooperation

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup met with Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles

Shared the common values of freedom, peace, and prosperity in the region

Will participate in multinational training and an upcoming project focused on underwater explosive removal

Foster a mutually advantageous partnership in the defense industry domain

Korea and Australia, key partners in the Indo-Paci


On May 30, following their morning meeting, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup (right) and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and Minister for Defense Richard Marles shook hands.


Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup held a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and Minister for Defense Richard Marles to address key security matters and reached a consensus on enhancing defense cooperation between the two nations.


During Minister Marles' visit to Korea for the First Korea-Pacific Islands Summit, Minister Lee had a breakfast meeting with him on May 30. The two ministers held comprehensive discussions on the state of affairs in the Korean Peninsula, notable regional developments, and significant defense-related matters. This encounter marked their fourth meeting since June of the previous year, strengthening their partnership even further.


The two ministers agreed that Korea and Australia, as core partners in the Indo-Pacific, share common values. They reached a consensus on the promotion of defense cooperation between the two countries, with a shared commitment to freedom, peace, and prosperity in the region.


Minister Marles highlighted the similarities between Korea's Indo-Pacific strategy and Australia's recently unveiled Defense Strategy Review. He acknowledged the commitment of the Korean government to expand its role in the Indo-Pacific, as demonstrated in the Korea-Pacific Island Summit. Minister Marles expressed Australia's intent to enhance defense cooperation with Korea in both the Pacific Islands and the broader Indo-Pacific region.


Minister Lee emphasized the importance of collaboration among Indo-Pacific nations that uphold peace and shared values. In line with this, he expressed the intention of the ROK military to partake in the Indo-Pacific Endeavor, a multinational joint exercise led by Australia, as well as the Render Safe project, aimed at clearing underwater explosives in the Indo-Pacific region. Additionally, Minister Lee emphasized the need for a mutually beneficial defense industry relationship between the two countries.


Additionally, the two ministers reached a consensus on the necessity to update a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for defense cooperation that was signed in 2011. This revision aims to align the agreement with the expanding and deepening defense collaboration in various sectors. They also agreed to engage in working-level consultations to facilitate this process.

By Su-Yeol, Maeng < >

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