Russian, Korean Defence Ministers Meet

Military technology cooperation and international security were discussed Friday by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov and his North Korean counterpart Kim Il-Chul. According to Ivanov, plans have been made to sign a framework agreement on military cooperation after the pattern of an inter-government one. It includes such aspects as personnel training and military interaction. Sergei Ivanov referred to a dialogue between the two defence ministries as an important part of inter-state contacts encouraged by last year's visit to Pyongyang by Russian President Vladimir Putin. After the recent political and economic change, we are prepared to conduct dialogue on an equitable basis with due account of each other's benefits. He also pointed to Russia's willingness to view the general situation in the Asia-Pacific region. "International security is somewhat precarious here," he added. In his opinion, it is necessary to join efforts in contributing to both greater stability in the region and the protection of Russia's and North Korea's security. For his part, Kim Il-Chul congratulated Sergei Ivanov on his appointment as defence minister, adding that it was a manifestation of the Russian president's special trust, and expressed hope on successful cooperation between the two ministries.