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[9th ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus Wrapping Up] Strengthening national defense and military cooperation with ASEAN membe...

The 9th ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus has successfully concluded

International cooperation and support to deter North Korean nuclear weapons development

In-depth discussion on peace and stability in the region

[9th ASEAN Defense Ministers

The 9th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) has come to a close. Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup was commended for his solid commitment to strengthening defense and military cooperation with ASEAN member states through the implementation of the ASEAN-ROK defense cooperation plan, which is in accordance with the Korean government's Indo-Pacific strategy. The plea for international collaboration and support to urge North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and come to the bargaining table won support as well.


At the 9th ADMM-Plus held in Siem Reap, Cambodia from 22nd to 24th with the theme "solidarity for a harmonized security," defense ministers from ten ASEAN countries and eight major PLUS countries met to explore in-depth strategies to achieve peace and stability in the region, including the Korean Peninsula, amid an international security environment fraught with uncertainty.


Minister Lee presented the ROK’s Indo-Pacific strategy, which includes three visions of freedom, peace, and prosperity, as well as the Defense Ministry's policy direction for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, uninterrupted bilateral talks with the defense ministers of major countries and defense cooperation events were held.


On the final day of the meeting, the 24th, the defense chiefs of South Korea and Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation on UN peacekeeping operations (PKO MOU) and South Korea's provision of engineering equipment to Cambodia. The event was organized to fulfill ROK’s contribution pledge made during the 2021 Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial last December.


The MOU, signed by South Korea after the United Kingdom and Vietnam, includes bilateral exchanges and sharing of expertise relating to peacekeeping operations with the United Nations, as well as collaboration in UN peacekeeping missions in Lebanon and South Sudan. Moreover, the provision of engineering equipment and support for training related to engineeringthe first case in which Korea has joined the UN Triangular Partnership Project (UN TPP)are part of a multidimensional cooperation plan that provides Cambodia with equipment and training technologies to strengthen its reconstruction and help the UN peacekeeping operation.


Minister Lee also stated the Korean government's strategy for regional peacekeeping and maintaining stability, as well as its unwavering commitment, during the plenary session. The South Korean government regards ASEAN as the most significant cooperating partner for the Indo-Pacific Strategy. In this regard, the Ministry of National Defense has pledged to actively engage in ASEAN's multidimensional defense cooperation and the operation of its seven subcommittees.


He made it clear that North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations are serious threats to peace and stability not only on the Korean Peninsula but also in the international community, and highlighted that the ROK is attempting to achieve "peace by force" based on the ROK-US joint defense posture. He stated that the door has been left open for dialogue in order for North Korea to engage in substantial denuclearization. He called for the support of member states in urging the North to give up its nuclear weapons and come to the bargaining table.


Minister Lee also met with the defense ministers of Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, and Cambodia in bilateral meetings to discuss ways to strengthen military exchanges and defense cooperation.


ADMM-Plus, which began in 2010, was held every two to three years until 2018, when it became an annual event. Defense ministers from ten ASEAN countries attended, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Myanmar, and the Philippines, as well as eight major PLUS countries, including South Korea, the United States, China, Japan, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and India.

By Hyun-woo, Seo <>

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