|RoK Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon (R) receives Minister of National Defence Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich
Lich made the remark at a meeting with RoK Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon in Seoul on April 24, during which he hoped the PM will continue supporting the two countries’ defence ministries to step up effective collaboration in the coming time.
PM Lee said the RoK considers Vietnam a focus in its “New Look South Policy”, adding that Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia with abundant natural resources and a large population.
Vietnam is evaluated to see the most stable development in the region and the RoK is honoured to join this progress, he said.
The PM affirmed that the RoK wants to expand cooperation with Vietnam in different fields including external affairs and economy.
He applauded the two countries’ defence ministries to sign a joint vision statement on cooperation through 2030 and hoped the two sides will develop collaboration in defence industry.
Lich said bilateral relations have grown rapidly since Vietnam and the RoK established diplomatic ties 25 years ago and strategic cooperative partnership in 2009.
The RoK is one of the leading foreign investors in Vietnam and providers of official development assistance (ODA) for the country, he said.
The minister welcomed the RoK’s “New Look South Policy” and affirmed that Vietnam is willing to play an active role to promote relations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the RoK.
Vietnam advocates the denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula and hails the RoK’s efforts to promote inter-Korean dialogue, Lich said.
Vietnam also supports active and constructive measures to promote the dialogue to maintain peace, security and stability on the peninsula, he added.
During the earlier talks between Minister of National Defence Ngo Xuan Lich and his RoK counterpart Song Young-moo, the two sides expressed their pleasure at the growing relations between Vietnam and the RoK, and hoped defence cooperation will play a crucial role in the bilateral rapports.
Lich said the peaceful settlement of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s nuclear issue and the establishment of eternal peace on the Korean peninsula is not only essential to peace and prosperity of the peninsula but of the international community.
Regarding disputes of territorial sovereignty at sea, including the East Sea, the two sides stressed the need for the involved parties to restrain and fully respect diplomatic and legal processes, peacefully settling disputes based on international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), while implementing effectively and comprehensively the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC), soon signing a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) to maintain peace and stability, and seeking long-term fundamental measures acceptable by all parties.
The two defence ministers highly valued the positive development in defence cooperation between Vietnam and the RoK over the past time.
They agreed to increase the exchange of delegations at all levels, promote cooperation between military forces, and step up partnerships in defence industry, cyber security and peacekeeping activities of the United Nations in addition to enhancing coordination at multilateral defence and military forums.
Lich expressed his wish that the RoK is expected to share its development experience with ASEAN member countries, including Vietnam, to jointly build a peaceful, prosperous and people-centered community.
Vietnam will take over the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020, he said, adding that as a member of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM ), Vietnam hopes the RoK will help the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence to successfully host relevant events.
Minister Ngo Xuan Lich invited Minister Song Young-moo to visit Vietnam in early June 2018. The RoK Minister accepted the invitation with pleasure and revealed that he will visit Vietnam on the occasion of attending the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.