- Press Releases
4th ROK-Australia Foreign and Defense Ministers’ 2+2 Meeting Takes Place
1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang, Kyung-wha and Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeongdoo, together with Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds of the Commonwealth of Australia, held the 4th “Republic of Korea (ROK)-Australia Foreign and Defense Ministers’ 2+2 Meeting” in Sydney, Australia, on December 10.
2. The ministers of the ROK and Australia noted with appreciation that the two countries, which had fought together in the Korean War, have deepened their friendly and cooperative relations across the board since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1961 and have evolved into best cooperative partners that share such basic values as liberal democracy and human rights as well as regional strategic understanding. On that note, they decided to further broaden the scope of cooperation on not only bilateral but also regional and global levels.
° Prior to the 2+2 Meeting, the foreign ministers and defense ministers of the two countries visited and laid wreaths at the Korean War Memorial in Moore Park, Sydney, to express respect and appreciation to the Australian service members, who had been killed in the Korean War, for their noble sacrifice.
° During the Meeting, the two sides adopted a joint statement and expressed commitment to further strengthening cooperation in a wide range of areas, including foreign and security affairs, national defense, Korean Peninsula issues, development, economy, energy and resources, science and technology, and people-to-people exchanges.
3. The two sides decided to take an active part in international disarmament and non-proliferation efforts on bilateral and multilateral levels; to further step up close cooperation on cybersecurity through the ROK-Australia Cyber Policy Dialogue; and to respond jointly to terrorism, which is posing a grave threat to global peace and security.
° The two sides also discussed ways to reinforce cooperation in diverse areas, including joint response to transnational crime, immigration and border security, and maritime safety and disaster management.
4. The two sides exchanged various views on the regional situation and shared the understanding that amid numerous changes in and challenges to the diplomatic and security environment of the Indo-Pacific region, the ROK and Australia, which are under similar strategic circumstances, will work closely together for peace and prosperity in the region, while complying with all the principles valued by the international community.
° In particular, the two sides decided to further explore various ways to find a nexus between the ROK’s New Southern Policy and Australia’s Indo-Pacific Strategy in such areas as foreign and security affairs, economy and development.
° They also decided to continue close collaboration in regional multilateral fora, such as the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum in which both countries are taking part.
5. With regard to issues involving the Korean Peninsula, the ministers of the two countries shared the view that inter-Korean and United States (U.S.)-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) dialogue should continue as the sole means toward complete denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. On that note, they urged the DPRK to stop actions that can escalate military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and to resume inter-Korean and U.S.-DPRK dialogue.
° In particular, Minister for Foreign Affairs Payne and Minister for Defence Reynolds commended the ROK’s efforts to advance the inter-Korean relations and reaffirmed strong support for “the September 19 Comprehensive Military Agreement” concluded with the aim to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
° The two sides took note of the role of the United Nations (UN) Command for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and highly appreciated the Australian side’s continued support and contribution, including through the service of Vice Admiral of the Royal Australian Navy Stuart Mayer as Deputy Commander of the UN Command.
6. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang, Kyung-wha had a separate bilateral meeting with Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, during which the two sides discussed ways to step up cooperation in substantive areas, including economy (infrastructure, resources, hydrogen energy, etc.), people-to-people exchanges, and development, as well as on international stages, including MIKTA and the UN.
° On the heels of the 2+2 Meeting, the two foreign ministers concluded an ROK-Australia Memorandum of Understanding on Development Cooperation, pursuant to which the two countries will hold the biennial policy consultation on development cooperation and further bolster cooperation in the implementation of the sustainable development goals, women’s empowerment, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
7. The Meeting is seen to carry significance in that, amid the increasingly uncertain regional situation of late, the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries got together and exchanged in-depth views on ways to strengthen strategic cooperation and collaborate closely on regional and global stages, as well as in that they advanced the steadfast, friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries.