Việt Nam, RoK agree to strengthen defence ties

March 29, 2023 - 07:54
Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Phan Văn Giang and his Republic of Korea (RoK) counterpart Lee Jong-sup agreed to strengthen the bilateral defence cooperation, making it match potential of the two countries and their relations, during their talks in Seoul on Tuesday.


Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Văn Giang (right) and his Republic of Korea (RoK) counterpart Lee Jong-sup. — VNA/VNS Photo

SEOUL — Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Phan Văn Giang and his Republic of Korea (RoK) counterpart Lee Jong-sup agreed to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, making it match the potential of the two countries and their relations, during their talks in Seoul on Tuesday.

Lee highly valued the fine relationship between Việt Nam and the RoK, with the defence cooperation growing more intensive, extensive and effective.

Giang said he believes that his visit to the RoK, from March 27-29, will help to concretise the contents of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership in the field of defence.

Exchanging views on regional security with his host, Giang said Việt Nam consistently pursues the ‘Four No’s’ policy, which was specified in the 2019 Vietnam National Defence White Paper.

Regarding maritime security, the Vietnamese defence minister stressed that challenges regarding security and safety of navigation and territory and sovereignty disputes in Asia-Pacific in general and the East Sea in particular, have posed risks to peace, security, stability and cooperation in the region and the world as well.   

In such circumstances, relevant sides should uphold the rule of law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), he suggested.

As for the East Sea, the two ministers shared the view that the sides need to observe the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and work for the early conclusion of negotiations on and signing of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law.

Minister Giang stressed that Việt Nam persistently addresses all disagreements in the waters by peaceful measures in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. 

Both sides shared the view that the bilateral cooperation has received the attention of the two ministries’ leaders, and produced practical results.

The two sides have maintained cooperation mechanisms and delegation exchanges, especially the defence policy dialogue at the deputy ministerial level, and cooperation in such areas as personnel training, defence intelligence, military security, cyber security and military medicine has been promoted effectively and practically.

Cooperation between military forces has also been stepped up, with cooperation between naval forces being a bright spot, according to the officials.

They also reviewed partnerships in defence industry and the settlement of consequences of war-left bombs and mines, as well as their coordination and consultation at multilateral forums, and their support for multilateral activities organised by each side.

The ministers consented to increase the exchange of delegations, especially those at the high level, and maintain and promote the existing cooperation mechanisms.

Giang suggested Lee himself and the Korean ministry to call on other ministries, agencies and organisations of the RoK, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), to continue coordinating with and assisting Việt Nam in war consequence settlement, post-war dioxin remediation and supporting bomb, mine and AO/dioxin victims.

The two sides agreed to continue with mutual consultation and support at multilateral forums, particularly the mechanisms led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and support each other’s multilateral activities.

Minister Giang said Việt Nam backs the organisation of an informal meeting between defence ministers of ASEAN and the RoK on the basis of the ten-member grouping’s consensus, and stands ready to send delegations to the Seoul Defence Dialogue and the ASEAN-RoK deputy defence ministers’ meeting once they are convened.

At the end of their talks, the ministers witnessed the exchange of terms of reference consultation between the two navies, which serve as the basis for the forces to strengthen their cooperation. — VNS