Korea looks to develop military pact with China

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Korea looks to develop military pact with China

Korea is working on a plan to forge a military cooperation pact with China, the Defense Ministry said yesterday, in what appears to be an effort to soften the possible backlash of a similar accord with Japan.

Kim Min-seok, spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said that Korea and China have shared the need for a mutual logistical support treaty for years.

The two countries have conducted joint maritime exercises for humanitarian search and rescue operations.

Kim also said Korea already signed such a treaty with Russia in 2009.

The pact, known as the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement or Mutual Logistics Support Agreement, calls for exchanging most common types of support, such as food, fuel, transportation, ammunition and equipment, during peacekeeping and other operations.

Korea has also pushed to conclude one with Japan, which would mark the first-ever military agreement between the two countries since Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of Korea. But the government has been cautious because forging a military pact with the former colonial ruler could cause a public backlash.

The two sides have been in final stages of talks on two agreements, one on logistics and the other on sharing military intelligence.

Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin had planned to visit Japan to sign the intelligence sharing pact, but the visit was postponed at the last minute.

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