SKorea, Australia agree to step up defense cooperation
PHOTO CAPTION: An Australian Army Soldier assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, conducts a live fire exercise during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, July 12, 2022. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Haley Fourmet Gustavsen via U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)
SEOUL (Reuters) -South Korea and Australia's defence chiefs agreed on Tuesday to step up defence cooperation, South Korea's defence ministry said.
Korean Defence Minister Lee Jong-sup met his Australian counterpart Richard Marles on the sidelines of the inaugural S. Korea-Pacific Islands Summit in Seoul.
Lee expressed the South Korean military's willingness to join the Indo-Pacific Endeavour, an Australian-led multinational military drill, as well as Operation Render Safe, activities by the Australian Defense Force to remove underwater mines in the Pacific.
The two countries agreed to hold working-level meetings as part of steps to revise a memorandum of understanding signed in 2011 aimed at enhancing defense industry cooperation.
Marles also met with South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol and discussed joint efforts to expand cooperation with the Pacific Islands countries, a presidential spokesperson said.
(Reporting by Hyunsu Yim; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Bernadette Baum)