Seoul, Beijing to hold defense talks

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Seoul, Beijing to hold defense talks

South Korea’s vice defense minister departed for Beijing yesterday for talks with a top Chinese military official expected to focus mainly on expanding military logistics cooperation for disaster relief between the two nations, officials said.

During his four-day trip, Lee Yong-gul will meet General Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese Army, to talk about security issues on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, the ministry said in a release, without elaborating on the agenda.

The two sides are expected to talk about signing a memorandum of understanding on boosting cooperation on mutual logistical support in case of a large-scale disaster, ministry officials said. Working-level officials of the two sides previously discussed the issue in a military meeting in October.

“The two sides will discuss the memorandum of understanding of the mutual military logistics agreement for disaster relief efforts and make a regular study group to expand personnel exchanges,” a ministry official said, noting more details will be disclosed after the Tuesday meeting.

The meeting is the second of its kind after military chiefs of the two nations held an inaugural strategic defense talk in July of last year. During the Seoul meeting, South Korea and China agreed to strengthen cooperation in rescue efforts for disaster-hit areas.Yonhap

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