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South Korea, Australia agree to step up defence cooperation

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South Korean and Australian flags are seen during a signing ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra, December 13, 2021. Lukas Coch/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

South Korea and Australia’s defence chiefs agreed on Tuesday to step up defence cooperation, South Korea’s defence ministry said.

Korean Defence Minister Lee Jong-sup met his Australian counterpart Richard Marles on the sidelines of the inaugural S. Korea-Pacific Islands Summit in Seoul.

Lee expressed the South Korean military’s willingness to join the Indo-Pacific Endeavour, an Australian-led multinational military drill, as well as Operation Render Safe, activities by the Australian Defense Force to remove underwater mines in the Pacific.

The two countries agreed to hold working-level meetings as part of steps to revise a memorandum of understanding signed in 2011 aimed at enhancing defense industry cooperation.

Marles also met with South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol and discussed joint efforts to expand cooperation with the Pacific Islands countries, a presidential spokesperson said.

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