Defense minister Lee Jong-sup will attend the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security forum set to open on Friday in Singapore where he will hold talks with his U.S., Japanese and Chinese counterparts.
The conference will run through Sunday, bringing together some 600 top defense and security officials from more than 40 countries, including the United States, China, Britain, Australia and Japan.
North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats are expected to be one of key issues at this year’s meeting.
On the sidelines of the forum, minister Lee is scheduled to hold trilateral talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Japanese defense minister Yasukazu Hamada, with discussions expected on ways to establish a system to share North Korean missile warning data in real time.
Lee will also hold separate bilateral talks with Hamada in the first meeting between the defense chiefs of the two nations since November 2019 to discuss pending bilateral security issues for the "future-oriented" development of Seoul-Tokyo relations, according to the defense ministry.
The long-standing dispute over a Japanese maritime patrol aircraft’s threatening low-altitude flyby over a South Korean warship in December 2018 is expected to be discussed.
In planned talks with his Chinese counterpart, Li Shangfu, the minister is expected to ask China to play a constructive role in efforts to lead the North to stop its nuclear and missile provocations.