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South Korea Seeks Talks With China, Japan On Military, Security Matters

South Korea has been actively lobbying for talks on military and security matters with China and Japan, it was stated on Monday.

Seoul's state-run Yonhap news agency quoted a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified, as saying that efforts toward establishing talks with the two neighbors were aimed at reinforcing regional cooperation.

According to the official, discussions were underway for facilitating the process. "We are mediating opinions of the related countries to push ahead with its launch by the end of this year," he added.

Seoul proposes formation of a security body comprising senior military officials from South Korea, China and Japan to meet regularly to take stock of military and security issues in the region.

Once established the three-nation panel would take steps for enhanced military cooperation culminating in joint military exercises.

According to the South Korean official, China's help was imperative for dealing with matters on the Korean peninsula.

Even though it was not stated, the move by South Korea could well be a ploy to counter North Korea's "aggressive designs and the brinksmanship" shown by its Communist leadership, which has steadfastly refused to return to the six-party talks aimed at resolving the nuclear stand-off.

Besides the two Koreas, the six-party talks include the US, Russia, Japan and China.

by RTT Staff Writer

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