Vietnam and ROK Strengthen Defense Cooperation

The 11th Vietnam-Republic of Korea (ROK) defense policy dialogue aims to evaluate the outcomes of defense cooperation between the two nations and discuss issues of mutual concern.

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The 11th Vietnam-Republic of Korea (RoK) defense policy dialogue. Photo: VGP

The eleventh Vietnam-Republic of Korea (RoK) defense policy dialogue was held in Hanoi on April 23, reviewing the results of the countries’ cooperation in the field, discussing issues of shared concerns, and mapping out directions for joint work in the future.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of National Defense Hoang Xuan Chien and his RoK counterpart Kim Seon Ho co-chaired the event.

Expanding Cooperation Horizons

At the dialogue, Hoang Xuan Chien stated that since Vietnam and South Korea upgraded their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership (December 2022), relations between the two nations have been continuously strengthened and developed in various fields, encompassing defense cooperation.

He noted that with the support of their leaders, the countries’ defense cooperation has achieved tangible results in delegation exchanges, education and training, dialogue and consultation mechanisms, defense industry, military trade, addressing war aftermaths, cybersecurity, military medicine, and UN peacekeeping. The sides have also supported each other in multilateral forums and mechanisms, particularly ASEAN-led mechanisms.

Chien expressed gratitude for the support of the RoK Government and people through the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in mitigating the consequences of post-war landmines and bombs in Vietnam.

He acknowledged the RoK Government’s provision of US$20 million in non-refundable aid to successfully complete the cooperation project to overcome post-war bomb and mine consequences in the 2018-2021 period in Binh Dinh and Quang Binh provinces, and US$14 million for implementing mine action for the RoK-Vietnam Peace Village project for the period 2024-2026.

Regarding the direction of cooperation in the coming phase, Deputy Minister of National Defense Hoang Xuan Chien proposed that the two sides continue to enhance cooperation, focusing on areas such as exchanging delegations at all levels, education and training, dialogue, consultation, and exchange mechanisms.

The two sides will continue to address the consequences of war and provide mutual support in multilateral forums and mechanisms, especially those led by ASEAN.

He also affirmed that the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense is prepared to host high-ranking RoK officers in Vietnam for participation in senior training courses at the National Defense Academy and Vietnamese language courses at the Military Science Academy.

Deputy Minister of National Defense Hoang Xuan Chien (fifth from right) shakes hands with his RoK counterpart Kim Seon Ho at the 11th Vietnam-Republic of Korea (RoK). Photo: VNA

RoK Deputy Minister of National Defense Kim Seon Ho stated that this dialogue provides an opportune moment for the two sides to review the outcomes of bilateral defense cooperation in recent times and to explore future directions for cooperation.

He emphasized Korea’s commitment to expanding defense cooperation with Vietnam and proposed that the two sides maintain existing areas of cooperation while developing new areas on the foundation of the friendly relationship between the two countries.

During the dialogue, the two sides discussed world and regional issues of mutual concern.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Chien underlined Vietnam’s unwavering commitment to resolving all disputes through peaceful means, based on international law and commitments in the region, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the ASEAN six-point principles on the East Sea, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the waters (DOC), and the advancement of substantive and effective negotiations on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

On the situation on the Korean Peninsula, he conveyed Vietnam’s stance against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, its support for the denuclearization of the area, and its support for the peaceful resolution of issues through dialogue.

Rosie Nguyen