Defense ministry wraps up annual security forum
SEOUL, South Korea's defense ministry wrapped up its three-day annual security forum on Friday, with participants hoping for successful diplomatic efforts to denuclearize North Korea and establish a lasting peace on the peninsula.
The 7th vice-ministerial Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD) was held under the main theme of "Sustainable Peace: From Conflict to Cooperation," which had a particular resonance ahead of an upcoming inter-Korean summit, slated to occur from Sept. 18-20 in Pyongyang.
The forum brought together government officials, security experts and other participants from 52 countries and three international organizations, including the U.N. and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
"This year's Seoul Defense Dialogue was a venue to gather the will of the whole world to explore a way toward peace through dialogue and cooperation vis-a-vis the Korean Peninsula, which had been a symbol of tension and instability," Seoul's Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk said during the closing ceremony.
"The bilateral meetings we had separately with representatives from participating countries were a good opportunity to communicate face-to-face, enhance state-to-state confidence and strengthen defense cooperation," he added.
On the sidelines of the forum, Suh held a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings, including talks with officials from Canada, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and other countries. The meetings focused on cooperation in the arms industry and on joint efforts to promote peace around the world.
During the talks, participants dealt with a number of issues, such as cybersecurity, denuclearization, regional confidence building and maritime security.
The SDD was launched in 2012 with the participation of vice ministerial defense officials and civilian security experts. It is designed to help enhance confidence building among countries and ease military tensions on the peninsula.
Source: Yonhap News Agency