Vietnamese Deputy-Minister of National Defense, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, and RoK Deputy-Defense- Minister Suh Choo-suk co-chaired the dialogue with the participation of the two countries’ high-ranking defense delegations.
RoK Deputy-Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk expressed delight at receiving the Vietnamese high-ranking defense delegation led by Vietnamese Deputy-Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh, who participated in the Seoul Defense Dialogue 2017 and the 6th Vietnam-RoK Defense Policy Dialogue.
RoK Deputy-Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk also said that the relations between Vietnam and RoK, including the bilateral defense ties, have seen positive developments in recent times. He confirmed that the RoK side is willing to support Vietnam in personnel training, foreign languages, overcoming the consequences of war, (including clearing bombs, mines, explosives and other ordnance, searching for remains of servicemen missing in action, cleaning dioxin-polluted land as well as maritime security. According to him, RoK’s offering three used ships to the Vietnam Coast Guard, has demonstrated that the bilateral defense cooperation has become practical and effective.
Another demonstration of the practical and effective defense cooperation between Vietnam and RoK is experience exchange between the two sides in UN peacekeeping operations. On the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on UN peacekeeping operations signed in September 2015, the two sides have carried out a number of cooperation activities, including delegation exchange and personnel training cooperation. Vietnam sent its personnel to RoK to participate in an eight-week peacekeeping training course, and RoK dispatched its experts to Vietnam to train Vietnamese sappers who will be deployed to UN peacekeeping operations in the future.
Regarding cyber-security cooperation, the RoK senior defense official affirmed that the RoK will cooperate with Vietnam in all fields, including expert training, information sharing and experience exchange.
Speaking at the meeting, General Vinh thanked the RoK Defense Ministry for inviting the Vietnamese defense delegation to the Seoul Defense Dialogue 2017 and the 6th Vietnam-RoK Defense Policy Dialogue. General Vinh said that the participation of many high-ranking defense delegations in the Seoul Defense Dialogue 2017 and the ASEAN-RoK Deputy-Defense-Ministerial Dialogue has demonstrated that the international community is deeply concerned about emerging security challenges in the region, particularly cyber-security and terrorism. According to the Vietnamese deputy-defense minister, regional countries should expand cooperation in a practical manner to respond effectively to these unique security challenges.
General Vinh highly valued RoK’s organization of the ASEAN-RoK Deputy-Defense-Ministerial Dialogue and its proposal to turn it into an annual mechanism, saying that a new cooperation platform should be created to respond effectively to new regional security challenges. He said that such a cooperation mechanism will promote cooperation between Southeast and Northeast Asian sub-regions, and contribute to peace and stability in the two sub-regions and world as a whole.
General Vinh expressed delight at positive developments in bilateral defense cooperation between the two countries. The bilateral defense cooperation has been expanded in many fields. For instance, the two sides regularly exchange delegations at various levels: The RoK supports Vietnam in training military personnel and sharing experience in UN peacekeeping operations, RoK joins Vietnam’s effort to overcome the aftermath of the wars, including clearing unexploded ordnance and detoxifying dioxin-contaminated land in Vietnam. In this regard, RoK has provided an aid package of US$ 20 million for Vietnam’s efforts to clear unexploded ordnance left by the wars in Vietnamese central provinces, and this assistance has contributed to restoring hundreds of hectares of land for agricultural cultivation as well as helped millions of local civilians avoid the unnecessary and horrendous casualties caused by unexploded ordinance.
According to General Vinh’s assessment, the maritime security cooperation between RoK and Vietnam has recently brought fruitful results. Especially, the three used ships offered by the RoK side to the Vietnam Coast Guard are operating well, effectively supporting the Vietnam Coast Guard in protecting Vietnam’s national sovereignty over its seas and islands on the basis of international law, as well as ensuring safety and security for shipping lanes in the East Sea (South China Sea), one of the most complex seas in the world.
In overall, the General said that the Vietnam-RoK defense cooperation is on the right track and the two sides should continue their efforts to enhance the cooperation.
Regarding the situation in the Korea peninsula, the Vietnamese defense official reiterated Vietnam’s viewpoint, saying that Vietnam always supports a Korea peninsula free of nuclear weapons, and peaceful solutions to issues with respect to international law and interests of all involved parties.
He took the occasion to pass the invitation of the leadership of the Vietnamese Defense Ministry to the RoK Defense Ministry to visit Vietnam at such appropriate times as may present themselves.
Deputy-Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk said he would pass on the invitation to leaders of the RoK Defense Ministry and would arrange his time to visit Vietnam in the near future.
The two deputy-defense ministers also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern.
Later in the afternoon of September 8, General Vinh paid a courtesy call to RoK Defense Minister Song Young-moo. At the meeting, General Vinh warmly congratulated Mr. Song Young-moo on his appointment to the post of RoK defense minister.
The RoK Defense Minister asked General Vinh to convey his official invitation to Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich to visit RoK and the host also expressed the hope that a Vietnam-RoK Joint Vision Statement on Defense Cooperation would be signed during the Vietnamese Defense Minister’s upcoming visit to RoK.
Reported by Van Yen from Seoul, RoK
Translated by Thu Nguyen