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South Korea a crucial regional partner: Albanese

The prime minister has briefly met with top South Korean ministers ahead of a two-on-two meeting between defence and foreign ministers.



Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has declared South Korea a crucial partner in the Pacific region before an important ministerial meeting.


Foreign and defence ministers from each country will meet for talks in Melbourne on Wednesday.


"We are two countries who understand the value of peace and the cost of war. We are working together to help shape a region that is peaceful, stable and prosperous," Foreign Minister Penny Wong said.


South Korea is a crucial regional partner for Australia.


Our two countries are working together towards an open, stable and prosperous region.


Defence Minister Richard Marles and his counterpart Shin Won-sik will tour Hanwha's facility in Avalon.


The South Korean defence industry giant has been contracted to build infantry fighting vehicles and self-propelled howitzer artillery for the Australian Defence Force.


"I highly value the expansion of our defence industry co-operation," Mr Marles said.


"The future Hanwha Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence will provide a significant economic boost to Australian defence industry and manufacturing capabilities, and deliver hundreds of jobs to the local community."


Mr Marles is also mulling whether to choose Spain, Germany, Japan and South Korea for new general-purpose frigates under a major shake-up for the navy.


Mr Albanese and Senator Wong met briefly with Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yeol and Mr Shin at Parliament House on Monday.


"South Korea is a crucial regional partner for Australia. Our two countries are working together towards an open, stable and prosperous region," Mr Albanese wrote on X after the meeting.


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