Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne will visit the Republic of Korea (ROK) on 12 and 13 October to advance Australia’s defence and strategic efforts to support regional stability and security.
Ministers will participate in the third Australia-ROK 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministers’ Meeting with their Korean counterparts, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Minister for National Defense Song Young-moo.
The 2+2 meeting will provide further strategic direction to Australia’s engagement with the Republic of Korea. We will discuss ways of addressing North Korea’s threatening and destabilising pursuit of its nuclear and missiles programs, and exchange views on further strengthening our cooperation on strategic issues.
North Korea’s refusal to abide by international laws poses a serious and immediate threat to the security of our region. Australia works closely with the Republic of Korea, including in the implementation of resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council. Minister Bishop’s recent National Statement to the UN General Assembly reiterated Australia’s commitment to helping to resolve the crisis on the Peninsula.
We will also discuss further ways to advance bilateral relations. The Republic of Korea is Australia's fourth-largest overall trading partner, with two-way trade valued at almost $30 billion in 2016. The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement continues to sustain robust trade and investment. By the end of 2018, more than 1,000 students will have studied and undertaken internships in the Republic of Korea under the New Colombo Plan.