Defense chiefs of S. Korea, France discuss bilateral ties, regional security

February 14, 2022

 The defense chiefs of South Korea and France held talks in Paris on Monday to discuss defense cooperation between the two countries and regional security situations, including the Ukraine crisis, Seoul’s defense ministry said.

South Korea’s Defense Minister Suh Wook met his French counterpart, Florence Parly, on the second day of his two-day trip, which marks the first visit to Paris by a South Korean defense chief since 2016.

During the talks, Parly expressed France’s hopes to expand cooperation with South Korea in line with its continued efforts to contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region, the ministry said.

The two sides also explored ways to implement a 2018 agreement between Presidents Moon Jae-in and Emmanuel Macron to boost defense industry cooperation. They also vowed to enhance cooperation in space, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and other new security sectors.

Parly shared her intelligence on the conflict between Ukraine and Russia with Suh and explained France’s efforts for a peaceful resolution. France currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

Parly also said Paris, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, will make efforts to contribute to the denuclearization of and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Later in the day, Suh met with Christian Cambon, who heads the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee of the French Senate.

Suh expressed gratitude over the Senate’s adoption in January of a resolution that urged the French government to support a declaration to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War.

Suh plans to visit Norway on Tuesday for a two-day trip at the invitation of Odd Roger Enoksen, his Norwegian counterpart.

He will also visit Lebanon on Thursday to inspect the operations of the Dongmyeong Unit, the 300-strong South Korean peacekeeping military unit in the conflict-laden country, before returning home Friday.