Timor-Leste calls for Deeper Defence ties with Sth Korea

Timor-Leste calls for Deeper Defence ties with Sth Korea

A South Korean military plane pictured at Dili Airport, 07 October, 2019 (Image/Nelia Borges)

DILI, 07 October 2019 (TATOLI)- The Defense Minister Filomeno Paixão de Jesus today called for greater bilateral defence cooperation with South Korea, after talks in Dili today.

Mr Paixão met the Lieutenant-General of Korea’s Defense Force, Lee Seokgu, and Defense Minister, Brigadier-General Seo Young-Man at the Port of Dili.

“The meeting is to discuss cooperation [such as] when Korea sent their troops for the mission with INTERFET.  And we also know that many thousands of our Timorese oveseas workers are in Korea, therefore their presence [is reason] to strengthen cooperation in the defense sector,” Minister Paixão said.

He added that the Timorese people are very grateful the assistance of Korea in INTERFET, although Timor-Leste government and the F-FDTL have yet to establish formal defense ties with South Korea.

In 1999, Korea also donated three Military vessels, two vessels for the Maritime United Police (UPM) and another one for the F-FDTL Naval Force.

Minister Paixão said the visit by Korean defense members reminds Timor-Leste of their struggles during independence 20 years ago; struggles still being felt by the whole country.

During the visit, the Timorese hosts also paid tribute to Korea’s civilian UN workers, including the five defense members who died in an accident on March 6, 2003 at Noel Ekab River, in the Oe-Cusse enclave.

Major Byong Jo Min, Major Jin Kyu Park, Corporal Jong Hun Membali, Corporal Hee Choi and Kim Jung Joung all perished in the crash.

Originally published in Tetum as: TL Husu Koreia Ajuda iha Setór Defeza

Related news:
Forsa Koreanu Vizita Hikas Timor-Leste Hafoin Tinan 20

Jornalist: Eugénio Pereira

Editors: Francisco Simões; Robert Baird

Translation: Neliana Borges


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