Singapore reaffirms warm bilateral defence ties with South Korea during Ng Eng Hen's visit

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen with his South Korean counterpart, Mr Song Young Moo, at a welcome ceremony in Seoul, South Korea on March 19, 2018.
Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen with his South Korean counterpart, Mr Song Young Moo, at a welcome ceremony in Seoul, South Korea on March 19, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SEOUL - Singapore and South Korea reaffirmed their warm bilateral defence relations on Monday (March 19) during a visit to Seoul by Singapore's Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen.

Dr Ng met with his South Korean counterpart, Mr Song Young Moo, who provided an update on the recent developments in the Korean Peninsula, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) in a statement.

Fears of a new conflict on the Korean peninsula were raised when North Korea tested intercontinental ballistic missiles and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September last year in defiance of international warnings and sanctions.

But tensions began to ease since Jan 1 when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed his readiness for a dialogue with the South in his televised New Year's Day address.

On Monday, Dr Ng and Mr Song also reaffirmed their cooperation in the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), where Mr Song conveyed his support for Singapore's Chairmanship deliverables, including the proposed guidelines on air encounters between military aircraft.

After the meeting, Dr Ng visited the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas which are technically in a state of war. There, Dr Ng received a briefing by the United Nations Military Armistice Commission on the multinational security efforts in the DMZ.

Mindef said the meeting between the two ministers reflects the warm and friendly bilateral defence relationship between South Korea and Singapore.

The Singapore Armed Forces and the Republic of Korea Armed Forces interact regularly through professional dialogues, cross-attendance of courses and seminars, and at multilateral exercises and forums, it added.