Yonhap News Agency, Seoul, November 23 (Xinhua) South Korea's Ministry of National Defense stated on the 23rd that Defense Minister Lee Jong-sub took the opportunity of attending the 9th ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus to hold talks with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe in Cambodia on the same day to discuss North Korea's nuclear and missile issues.
This is the first meeting between the two defense ministers in five months since they met in June on the occasion of the 19th Asian Security Conference (Shangri-La Dialogue). The two sides exchanged views on the security situation on the Korean Peninsula and the region.
Lee Jong-seop said that it is not appropriate to say that North Korea has continuously upgraded its nuclear and missile capabilities in response to the South Korea-US joint drills and threats from the United States. He pointed out that in the past few decades, North Korea has also secretly carried out nuclear and missile research and development work during inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korean dialogues. He said that North Korea has recently developed new types of missiles, launched intercontinental ballistic missiles, and is also preparing for the seventh nuclear test. These series of measures are all carried out in accordance with the defense strengthening plan proposed by Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Council of the DPRK. The so-called external blame for all these The claim of threats is nothing more than a shift of responsibility.
Lee Jong-seop said that the upgrade of North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities will only make South Korea and the United States, South Korea, the United States, Japan and the international community more united and increase pressure. He called on China to play a constructive role on the Korean peninsula issue and let North Korea know that nuclear and missile research and development are of no benefit. In this regard, Wei Fenghe said that China also does not want to see tension and instability on the Korean Peninsula. China has always played a constructive role in maintaining the stability of the Korean Peninsula, and insists that relevant parties should work hard to resolve issues through dialogue.
Lee Jong-sub also introduced the three principles of the three visions of the Korean version of the Indo-Pacific strategy proposed by President Yoon Suk-yue at the Korea-ASEAN Summit. Wei Fenghe expressed concern over the prolonged protracted war in Ukraine, and expressed his willingness to end the war as soon as possible through dialogue and negotiation.
The defense ministers of the two countries agreed that on the basis of the consensus reached at the South Korea-China summit meeting a few days ago, various cooperation plans should be sought and implemented in the field of defense. The two defense ministers agreed that close strategic communication and exchange between the defense sectors is necessary to develop a future-oriented defense cooperation relationship. The two sides agreed to gradually resume personnel exchanges depending on the situation of the epidemic, including the mutual visits of the defense ministers that have been suspended since 2015, the national defense strategic dialogue at the deputy defense minister level that was suspended in 2019, and the military communication network such as direct telephone calls between the Ministry of Defense. (Finish)
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