South Korea, Australia to strengthen defence ties

Richard Marles says the death of a 10-year old boy under WA government care is a tragedy.

Richard Marles says the death of a 10-year old boy under WA government care is a tragedy. Photo: AAP

Australia and South Korea have agreed to strengthen bilateral ties on defence and other security-related issues.

South Korean defence minister Lee Jong-sup and his Australian counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, met in Seoul on Tuesday.

Mr Marles was in the South Korean capital for a two-day visit to represent Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the 2023 Korea-Pacific Islands Summit and meet separately with President Yoon Suk-yeol and Mr Lee.

The two ministers agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relationship in defence and underlined the two countries were “key partners” that shared common values within the Indo-Pacific region.

The ministers agreed Australia and South Korea would work on an enhanced bilateral framework, building on the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Co-operation.

They said an updated framework would facilitate both governments’ ambitions to strengthen the defence partnership to better respond to the security challenges in the region.

Mr Lee expressed Seoul’s desire to participate for the first time in the Australian-led multinational exercise Indo-Pacific Endeavour and in Operation render safe, aimed at disposing of submarine explosives from World War II from the bottom of the Pacific.

The two ministers further agreed to meet again at the end of the year.

The development follows a meeting between Mr Yoon and Mr Albanese on the sidelines of the G7 leaders summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

-with EFE

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