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S. Korean, Australian defense chiefs agree to bolster defense industry ties

By Yonhap

Published : April 30, 2024 - 20:26

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Defense Minister Shin Won-sik (right) shakes hands with Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles during their meeting in Melbourne on Tuesday. (Defense Ministry) Defense Minister Shin Won-sik (right) shakes hands with Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles during their meeting in Melbourne on Tuesday. (Defense Ministry)

The defense chiefs of South Korea and Australia held talks in Melbourne on Tuesday and discussed ways to step up cooperation for regional security and defense industry.

Defense Minister Shin Won-sik met Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles during his visit to Australia for "two plus two" talks among the countries' foreign and defense ministers, slated for Wednesday.

In their first meeting since their gathering in Seoul last October, the ministers evaluated the deepening defense industry ties, particularly in light of Australia's procurement of Korean weapons systems, and agreed to further bolster the partnership, the defense ministry said.

In December, the Australian subsidiary of Hanwha Aerospace secured a 3.1 trillion-won ($2.4 billion) deal to sell 129 Redback infantry fighting vehicles to Australia. It was Hanwha's second export to Australia following a 2021 deal for K-9 self-propelled howitzers.

Prior to their discussions, the ministers visited Hanwha's infantry vehicle factory in Geelong, located an hour's drive from Melbourne, to observe ongoing construction activities. Construction of the local assembly line is expected to be completed in July, according to the ministry. (Yonhap)