German defence minister extols security ties on visit to South Korea

Germany is looking to bolster its security ties to South Korea, said German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on a visit to Seoul on Wednesday, as she noted the common interests binding the two countries.

Values like international law, contracts, multilateralism and democracy “have to be defended again and again” in the Indo-Pacific region, she said.

Germany’s Cabinet has, in the last year, emphasized the importance of the region in its statements, with a special emphasis on security cooperation. The European Union also agreed upon an Indo-Pacific strategy in April.

South Korean Defence Minister Suh Wook said he is also eager for closer cooperation, calling the two countries the “best partners.”

It is the first visit by a German defence minister to South Korea in 14 years. Kramp-Karrenbauer is still expected to visit the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea. On Thursday, she is expected to travel on, to the US territory of Guam in the Pacific.

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