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S. Korean, Chinese defense chiefs vow enhanced cooperation in defense ties, virus response

South Korea`s Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo (L) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, during their bilateral meeting in Bangkok on Nov. 17, 2019. (Yonhap)
South Korea`s Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo (L) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, during their bilateral meeting in Bangkok on Nov. 17, 2019. (Yonhap)

The defense chiefs of South Korea and China held phone talks Wednesday and vowed to boost their defense exchanges and enhance cooperation against the coronavirus, Seoul's defense ministry said.

During the conversation, Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, exchanged opinions on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, their responses to the COVID-19 virus and ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in defense fields, according to the ministry.

Jeong introduced the country's anti-virus measures as well as the military's role in the country's fight against the coronavirus, and stressed joint efforts by the international community to overcome such a non-traditional security threat, the ministry said.

The Chinese minister praised the two countries' efforts to contain the coronavirus and shared the need to continue cooperation between Seoul and Beijing, it added.

"The ministers agreed to strive together to push for their defense exchanges and cooperation and the establishment of military hotlines between their air forces and navies, among other measures, without a hitch in consideration of the COVID-19 situation," the ministry said in a release.

The two countries have been pushing to set up more military hotlines. Currently, they have one such channel. (Yonhap)
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