S. Korea, Laos agree to establish military ties

June 30, 2016

SEOUL, June 30 (Yonhap) — South Korea and Laos agreed Thursday to set up military attache offices in each other’s country to beef up their defense related ties, the government here said.

South Korea’s Vice Defense Ministry Hwang In-moo signed an agreement to establish the offices with his Laotian counterpart Onsey Senesouk during their talks held in the southeast Asian country earlier in the day, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement.

The defense officials also agreed to open regular dialogue to step up bilateral defense cooperation on sectors like military education and demining, the ministry said.

During their meeting, the Laotian side expressed support for South Korea’s efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and also pledged to join the international efforts to faithfully implement the latest United Nations Security Council resolution on North Korea.

The southeast Asian country also voiced plans to reconfigure its relations with North Korea in light of the U.N. sanctions, adopted after Pyongyang’s nuclear and long-range missile tests earlier in the year, the ministry noted.

The ministry said it will take necessary steps for the opening of the military attache office in Laos in 2017.

A 12-member delegation led by Hwang is set to return home from their two-nation visit to Cambodia and Laos, aimed at shoring up bilateral defense relations with the countries traditionally close to North Korea.

In a strategy to increase diplomatic pressure on North Korea, Seoul is increasing efforts to win over North Korea’s close allies.

Uganda has pledged to sever military cooperation with Pyongyang during President Park Geun-hye’s visit to the African country in late May.

The defense ministry said the latest visit to Laos “is an achievement that has weakened North Korea’s diplomatic standing in the international community.”