De­fense min­istry to host global fo­rum next week

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Jun Ji-hye jjh@ktimes.com

The Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense will host a global se­cu­rity fo­rum in Seoul next week to dis­cuss evolv­ing threats from North Korea’s nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams as well as other chal­leng­ing is­sues such as mar­itime dis­putes and cy­ber ter­ror­ism.

The min­istry said Wed­nes­day that the Seoul De­fense Di­a­logue (SDD) will be­gin Sept. 6 for a three-day run at the Westin Cho­sun Ho­tel in cen­tral Seoul.

The SDD is an an­nual mul­ti­lat­eral di­a­logue of vice-min­is­ter level de­fense of­fi­cials and se­cu­rity ex­perts, aimed at ex­am­in­ing ways of bet­ter cop­ing with var­i­ous threats fac­ing the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

This year marks the 6th time the SDD has been held.

“The topic for the SDD 2017 is ‘Vi­sions for Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion in an Age of Un­cer­tainty,’” said Vice De­fense Min­is­ter Suh Choo-suk dur­ing a brief­ing. “De­fense of­fi­cials and ex­perts from 38 coun­tries and four in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions will par- tic­i­pate this time.”

Vice de­fense min­is­ters from Ger­many, Italy and Fin­land will at­tend the fo­rum for the first time, the min­istry said, adding that Aus­tralian De­fense Min­is­ter Marise Payne is sched­uled to de­liver a key­note speech at the open­ing cer­e­mony.

There will be four ple­nary ses­sions on is­sues in­clud­ing the North Korean nu­clear is­sues, mar­itime dis­putes and cy­ber se­cu­rity as well as in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion in counter-ter­ror­ism.

Par­tic­i­pants in the ple­nary ses­sions in­clude Seoul’s First Vice For­eign Min­is­ter Lim Sung-nam, Vice De­fense Min­is­ter Suh and 7th U.S. Air Force Com­man­der Lt. Gen. Thomas Berge­son as well as Daniel R. Rus­sel who served as the U.S. as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of state for East Asian and Pa­cific af­fairs.

The two spe­cial ses­sions will deal with is­sues re­lated to the fourth in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion and de­fense tech­nolo­gies, and a par­a­digm shift to future war­fare.

On the side­lines of the fo­rum, a va­ri­ety of bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral talks will take place to build trust and friend­ship be­tween de­fense of­fi­cials from par­tic­i­pat­ing na­tions.

Suh will at­tend a meet­ing with vice de­fense min­is­ters from ASEAN mem­ber coun­tries.

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