Seoul and Beijing agree to set up high-level military hotline

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Seoul and Beijing agree to set up high-level military hotline

Seoul and Beijing have agreed to establish a high-level military hotline by the end of the year, according to a senior Korean government official.

The two sides are expected to come to a final decision and discuss the details of a defense ministerial hotline in the fourth round of bilateral strategic defense talks in Beijing slated for tomorrow, the official said. The talks on regional security and other bilateral defense issues will be attended by Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Baek Seung-joo and Wang Guanzhong, China’s deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

The Sino-Korea military hotline is expected to be a means of “speedy and intimate communication” with leading Chinese defense officials on the North Korea nuclear problem and security on the Korean Peninsula and the region.

Currently, Seoul’s only military direct defense ministerial hotline is with Washington. China and Korea have had a naval and air force hotline since 2008 to help prevent accidental clashes at sea or in the air.

The two countries have discussed establishing a military hotline since 2007, but at that time, China had been passive on the issue because of its relationship with traditional ally North Korea.

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