Today I met with Republic of Korea Minister for National Defense General Kim Kwan-Jin.
Minister Kim’s visit takes place during the Year of Friendship marking the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and the Republic of Korea and the 60th Anniversary of Australia’s participation in the Battle of Gapyeong.
During his visit, Minister Kim and I conducted in Canberra the inaugural Australia-Republic of Korea Defence Ministers’ Dialogue.
Minister Kim and I issued a Joint Press Release and signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Defence Cooperation.
We agreed to enhance the Australia-Republic of Korea defence relationship in four key areas: strategic dialogue, information sharing, exercises and defence industry.
Minister Kim and I agreed to develop a new maritime exercise for 2012 and expressed our desire (subject to the availability of assets) to develop it into a regular exercise.
We agreed to seek further opportunities for regular participation in combined exercises in Australia and the Republic of Korea.
In Sydney, Minister Kim and I laid a wreath at the Korean War Memorial. The memorial commemorates the Australian and Korean veterans of the Korean War. It honours a friendship forged through war between Australia and Korea.
In Sydney, Minister Kim also called on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to discuss the bilateral defence and security relationship.
The Joint Press Release can be found in: http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/category/smith/category/smith/media-r...
Images will be available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003=&search=111...
Sacha Fenton (Mr Smith’s Office): 0467 784 528
Ellen Shields (Mr Smith’s Office): 0400 347 473
Department: (02) 6127 1999