South Korean Minister of Defense Song Young-moo (L) and Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich in Hanoi in June 2018. Photo: VietNamNet
The military relations were tightened since the two nations in April 2018 signed a joint vision statement on defense cooperation with vision to 2030, according to The Diplomat.
In June 2018, South Korean Minister of Defense Song Young-moo visited Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich to discuss measures for effective implementation of the joint vision statement.
The cooperation includes army logistics which focuses on mutual support in the UN peacekeeping operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief which continues to be a pathway for the two armies to implement cooperation.
To boost the ties, Lieutenant General Lee Jeong-keun, commander of South Korea’s Army Logistics Command, paid a visit to Vietnam last week, highlighting some of the ongoing activities, both in the logistics and in their defense relationship generally amid wider domestic and regional trends and movements, according to The Diplomat.
Both Vietnam and South Korea consider defense relationship an important part of their wider ties, which were established in 1992 and then elevated to the level of a strategic partnership back in 2009.
The defense component of ties involves various aspects, including visits, exchanges, and dialogues, and it is rooted in the inking of several previous agreements.
Lee’s trip included a series of interactions. During the visit, he and his delegation met with a range of Vietnamese officials, and this included Director of the General Department of Logistics, Major General Tran Duy Giang.
Both sides discussed some specific issues on advancing logistics cooperation as well. Lee said that the Army Logistics Command would look to promote logistics collaboration and present several forms of equipment to the Vietnamese defense ministry in this respect.
The South Korean delegation also visited several facilities pertaining to the pursuit of logistics cooperation between the two sides. This included Joint-Stock Company 26 under the General Department of Logistics and Factory Z131 under the Ministry of National Defense of Vietnam.
South Korean Minister of Defense Song Young-moo in Hanoi in June 2018. Photo: VietNamNet
Back in December 2018, South Korea and Vietnam convened a bilateral defense dialogue. The interaction once again spotlighted the growing security collaboration as part of their wider strategic partnership in recent years.
On December 10, 2018, the Vietnam-South Korea Defense Dialogue took place in Ho Chi Minh City, chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh and his South Korean counterpart Suh Choo Suk.
During the meeting, both sides emphasized the state of bilateral defense relations in various areas as well as regional and global security issues of common interest.
Indeed, a number of significant developments in defense ties were reported in 2018 including logistics support for peacekeeping forces, natural disasters, and humanitarian relief.
Defense industry, the UN peacekeeping, and coordination at multilateral forums were the aspects that will be in particular focus as Vietnam prepares to assume the annually rotating chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2020.
Security cooperation has generally factored into the broader relationship between Seoul and Hanoi amid expanded two-way trade, investment into Vietnam, and tightened cultural exchange.
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