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Seoul Defense Dialogue Due Next Week, US Not Sending Representative

Write: 2019-08-29 16:43:04Update: 2019-08-29 17:41:17

Seoul's Defense Ministry said the 2019 Seoul Defense Dialogue(SDD) will be held next Wednesday to Friday.

This year, defense officials and experts from some 50 countries and five international organizations will attend, but a U.S. representative will not be coming.

A South Korean defense ministry official said that Seoul asked for Washington to send an assistant secretary-level official to the Seoul forum but the U.S. replied that it wouldn't be possible due to other schedules.

On whether the U.S. skipping this year's dialogue was related to South Korea's decision to end a military information sharing agreement with Japan, the official said it was only a scheduling matter.

Seoul also asked the U.S. embassy for an embassy representative to take part in the SDD.

During the dialogue, the Defense Ministry is seeking bilateral meetings with Japanese and Russian representatives.

The government had considered inviting North Korea to the forum but eventually decided against it.
  
The Seoul Defense Dialogue was launched in 2012 as a vice ministerial level multilateral security consultation regime for talks on Asia-Pacific cooperation and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

This year, it will be held under the theme, "Building Peace Together: Challenges and Visions."

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