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Minister Shin, “The Akh Unit plays outstanding role as a bridge between Korea and the UAE”

Defense Minister Shin Won Sik visited three countries in the Middle East

Minister Shin encouraged the members of the Akh Unit, which was the first stop

“Dedicate yourselves to the assigned missions for the national interest”


First defense ministerial meeting with UAE’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs

A necktie symbolizing a bilateral solidarity drew keen attention

The necktie reflects a commitment to continuously strengthening future-oriented cooperation

Minister Shin, “The Akh Unit plays outstanding rol


P. Defense Minister Shin Won Sik inspects an honor guard before meeting UAE Minister of State for Defense Affairs Mohammed bin Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei. Minister Shin wore a specially prepared tie in the shape of the UAE national flag that expressed the close cooperation and friendship between the two countries.


Defense Minister Shin Won Sik, who is on a trip to the Middle East, visited the Republic of Korea Special Warfare Unit in the UAE (Akh Unit) to pay tribute to the efforts of soldiers who enhance national prestige and successfully complete missions. Minister Shin and the UAE’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs Mohammed agreed to strengthen bilateral defense and defense industry cooperation.


On February 3 (local time), Minister Shin visited the Akh Unit, where he encouraged the soldiers by saying, “Akh means ‘brother’ in Arabic, and the Akh Unit has played an important role in promoting bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries.” He urged the soldiers to dedicate themselves to the mission, bearing in mind that cooperation with the UAE, a brotherly country, promotes the national interest of Korea.


Minister Shin toured the unit and had lunch with the soldiers. After taking a group photo, he met with 150 members of the unit and proposed to take an individual photo with each member.


The photo-taking session, which took about 40 minutes, drew a keen response from soldiers, the Defense Ministry said. Soldiers made funny poses such as the cheek heart, put their arms around each other’s shoulders or carried Minister Shin on their backs for photos.


In addition, team members took photos by making a star shape or using a team flag or nameplate to create an unforgettable memory.


A Defense Ministry official said, “Minister Shin used to visit field units and if time allowed, take individual photos with each of them, make framed photos and send the photos to them as gifts. It is a small but genuine e-x-p-r-e-s-s-i-o-n of appreciation for their efforts.”


On February 2 (local time), Minister Shin had a defense ministerial meeting with UAE Minister of State for Defense Affairs Mohammed bin Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei at the UAE defense ministry. The meeting is significant in that it is Minister Mohammed’s first meeting with a foreign minister since he was inaugurated last month as well as Minister Shin’s first overseas business trip.


At the meeting, the two ministers reviewed the progress made in bilateral defense cooperation over the past 15 years and agreed on future-oriented cooperation. They agreed that Korea and the UAE will continue to strengthen defense and defense industry cooperation, consistent with their status as special strategic partners and brotherly nations.


Minister Shin said, “So far, defense and defense industry cooperation between the two countries has contributed to strengthening mutual trust in the defense sector and various cooperation at the national level, and this meeting will provide an opportunity to create momentum for further defense industry cooperation.”


Minister Mohammed said, “I expect defense industry cooperation with South Korea to continue to grow as a future-oriented one, based on longstanding trust.”


At the meeting, a tie worn by Minister Shin with an image of the UAE national flag attracted a great deal of attention. The tie had green, white and black stripes with a red background and small Korean and UAE national flags at the top and bottom.


According to officials at the Ministry of Defense, Minister Mohammed said it looked nice when he saw the special ties worn by Minister Shin and his members, and he would like to get one. Minister Shin said, “I think the tie symbolizes solidarity and a strong brotherly relationship between South Korea and the UAE,” and Minister Mohammed replied, “The tie seems to represent the close bilateral relationship.”


Minister Shin presented the ties to Minister Mohammed and UAE government officials as a gift. Minister Shin plans to wear and present as gifts ties bearing national images when he visits Saudi Arabia and Qatar until February 6.

By Hyun-woo, Seo <>

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