1. Foreign Ministers Yun Byung-se and Julie Bishop and Defence Ministers Han Min-koo and Kevin Andrews met in Sydney today at the Second Foreign and Defence Ministers 2+2 Meeting between Australia and the Republic of Korea (ROK) to discuss ways to advance the defence and security relationship. 
  2. The Meeting reaffirmed the importance of the Korea-Australia partnership, based on common values and shared interests. It identified, through a new Defence and Security Cooperation Blueprint agreed today, avenues for continued cooperation in a wide range of areas, including defence cooperation, counter-proliferation, transnational law enforcement, cyber security, border security, crisis management and maritime safety.
  3. The Korea-Australia partnership has evolved since Australian missionaries travelled to the Peninsula in the nineteenth century through the terrible conflagration of the Korean War into a modern relationship based on strong people-to-people and trade ties. Today, the two countries have an active free trade agreement delivering strong outcomes for both countries and an active education relationship which sees thousands of young Koreans studying in Australia. Security cooperation between the two countries has also continued to increase significantly over recent years. Both countries are vibrant democracies with market-based economies, committed to the rule of law and human rights.
  4. The Ministers paid tribute to the 340 Australian servicemen who died during the Korean War. They also recognised the contribution of the more than 17,000 Australian troops who fought in the War under the United Nations Command. All four ministers paid their respects at the Korean War Memorial in Sydney and spent time talking to veterans about their experiences and thanking them for their service.
  5. The Ministers welcomed initiatives to address the security challenges of the region, including the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative launched by the Korean Government. They also recognised the contribution of the US rebalancing toward Asia for peace and stability in the region.
  6. The Ministers recommitted to holding annual Defence Ministers and Foreign Ministers bilateral meetings and biennial 2+2 joint meetings of their foreign and defence ministers, in addition to seeking opportunities for regular bilateral heads-of-government meetings. These events sit at the pinnacle of a broad range of structured interactions and ties that make the bilateral security relationship what it is today.

The Korean Peninsula

  1. Australian Ministers agreed with ROK Ministers that the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula will contribute to the peace, security and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and beyond, and supported the Initiative for the Peaceful Unification on the Korean Peninsula proposed by President Park on March 28, 2014.
  2. The Ministers hoped that the agreement reached between the ROK and the DPRK on August 25, 2015 will lead to advancing inter-Korean relations and called on North Korea to fully implement the agreement. They urged North Korea to address its terrible human rights record as detailed by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea. The Ministers strongly deplored North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, which threaten peace and security of the region and undermine the global non-proliferation regime. With regard to North Korea’s misguided efforts to develop nuclear weapons and its economy simultaneously, the Ministers urged North Korea to fully comply with all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and its commitments under the 19 September 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement. In this regard, the ROK and Australia will continue to reiterate support for full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Both sides urged North Korea to return to a meaningful dialogue at an early date with sincerity, which would pave the way for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Defence and security cooperation

  1. The Defence and Security Cooperation Blueprint, agreed by the Ministers today, sets out the broad scope of security cooperation between Australia and the ROK. The Blueprint reaffirms and builds on the Vision Statement for a Secure, Peaceful and Prosperous Future between the Republic of Korea and Australia, adopted by President Park and Prime Minister Abbott in Seoul on 8 April 2014.
  2. Recognising Australia’s valuable contribution to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, the Ministers agreed to strengthen practical defence cooperation.
  3. Enhanced practical defence cooperation includes increased opportunities to participate in military exercises in Australia and the ROK, as well as cooperate regionally and globally on security issues. Recognising the important role both countries can play on regional security issues, both defence forces will also cooperate in the preparation for, and conduct of, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. This will build upon previous cooperation, such as Australia and the ROK working closely together in the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 and in counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
  4. The Ministers agreed that both defence forces should work more closely together to prepare for peacekeeping operations and to cooperate closely on peacekeeping missions where both Australian and ROK personnel are deployed, including exchanging personnel on these missions.
  5. The Ministers noted the importance of the United Nations Command in maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula. They welcomed Australia’s continued participation in United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission inspections, investigations and observer missions to maintain the Armistice Agreement.
  6. The Ministers welcomed the signing of the Implementing Arrangement for Defence Education and Training at the Australia-Republic of Korea Defence Ministers’ Dialogue, noting the importance of establishing military-to-military links through reciprocal attendance at junior and senior staff courses, and the opportunities to exchange skills and knowledge through mutual participation in military training and education.
  7. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of Australia-ROK-United States trilateral defence cooperation, and decided to explore opportunities to increase this.
  8. The Ministers agreed to formalise cooperation in defence science and technology research with the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding in Defence Science, Technology and Research. Close defence industry collaboration would continue to be facilitated under the Defence Industry Memorandum of Understanding.
  9. Under the auspices of the new Blueprint, the Ministers also agreed to extend cooperation in a number of non-military security areas.
  10. The Ministers endorsed existing cooperation between the ROK and Australia on arms control and counter- and non-proliferation through shared membership of bodies ranging from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Proliferation Security Initiative. The two countries will continue to share information and conduct cooperative outreach to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
  11. Australian Ministers commended the ROK on bringing under control the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome earlier this year.  Australian and ROK Ministers agreed that the Australian Attorney-General’s Department and the ROK Ministry of Public Safety and Security would begin negotiating an MOU to share lessons learned and bolster capacity to deal with future crises. Australian and ROK maritime safety authorities will continue close cooperation in a wide range of activities, including on maritime safety and search and rescue, as well as environmental response.
  12. Australia and the ROK will continue to work together to develop international norms for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, and in outer space. The two countries will also cooperate on taking forward risk reduction and conflict prevention measures in cyberspace, and to increase awareness of the importance of space security issues, including in the ASEAN Regional Forum. Computer Emergency Response Teams will cooperate under their working agreements and cyber areas of the respective law-enforcement authorities will further strengthen their collaboration.
  13. The Australian Federal Police and Korean National Police Agency will build on existing cooperation, including under their 2006 Memorandum of Understanding. They will identify opportunities for cooperative training and cooperation on counter-terrorism. Police agencies, as well as respective immigration authorities, will work together and with Bali Process partners on the illegal movement of people.
  14. The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection and its ROK counterpart authorities, including Korea Immigration Service, Korea Customs Service and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, will consult and, where mutually agreeable, advance their capacity to collaborate on border security.  
  15. Australia and the ROK will continue to work together on issues in the Pacific, building that region’s resiliency in the face of disasters.  The two countries agreed to hold annual meetings on cooperation in the Pacific and to endeavor to include the other in existing multilateral Pacific dialogues.

Regional architecture and global issues

  1. The Ministers agreed to use Australia and the ROK’s positions as significant powers and major economies to bolster regional architecture and contribute to a rules-based international order. This would build on their partnership as former non-permanent United Nations Security Council members and cooperation in regional fora such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum and APEC. Australia thanked ROK for its strong leadership as the 2014-15 coordinator of MIKTA – the group of significant powers comprising Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia – and undertook to keep working with partners in MIKTA to enhance regional and global stability and prosperity during Australia’s year in the role (2015).
  2. The Ministers agreed to work closely to support Turkey’s G20 Presidency and to build on the outcomes of the last G20 Summit in Brisbane. A focus of cooperation will be implementing growth strategies agreed in Brisbane.
  3. The two countries committed to bolstering the work of the East Asia Summit, and other regional institutions. Australia and the ROK have clear shared strategic interest in building effective regional institutions that can help manage strategic challenges and build habits of cooperation and consultation. The Ministers welcomed positive discussions at the August East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial Meeting in Kuala Lumpur that included substantive discussions on the Korean Peninsula and support for regional cooperation on maritime issues and countering violent extremism. The Ministers also acknowledged the role of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM Plus) as a means of enhancing practical military cooperation.
  4. Australia and the ROK reiterated their intention to continue to promote maritime security and safety in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other relevant international norms and the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight. The Ministers supported efforts by ASEAN and China to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and emphasised the importance of exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability. At the same time, the Ministers called for an early conclusion of a meaningful Code of Conduct in an expeditious manner.

Next Meeting

  1. ROK Foreign and Defence Ministers thanked their Australian counterparts for extending warm hospitality and organizing this Meeting in an efficient and effective way. The four Ministers agreed to hold the next 2+2 meeting in Seoul, the ROK in 2017. 

Blueprint for Defence and Security Cooperation Between Australia and the Republic of Korea

11 September 2015

1. Senior Dialogues and Consultation

Activity or proposed activity

  1. Australia and the Republic of Korea (ROK) hold biennial Foreign and Defence Ministers’ 2+2 meetings.
  2. Both sides hold Foreign Ministers’ meetings in either country or in the margins of plurilateral events at least annually.
  3. Both sides hold Defence Ministers’ dialogues in either country or in the margins of plurilateral events at least annually.
  4. Both sides seek opportunities for regular bilateral Heads-of-Government meetings in either country or on the margins of plurilateral events.
  5. Both sides hold annual Strategic Dialogue Talks (Foreign Ministry Deputy Secretary/Deputy Minister level, Defence First Assistant Secretary /Director-General or Deputy Director-General level).
  6. Both sides hold annual Defence Policy Talks (First Assistant Secretary /Director-General level).

2. Defence Cooperation

Activity or proposed activity

  1. Australia and the ROK maintain regular service-to-service dialogues between our respective Navies, Armies and Air Forces.
  2. Exercise participation and defence cooperation.
    • Both sides will increase patterns of  bilateral and joint exercising, including:
      • practical participation by Australian personnel and units in field training exercises in the ROK;
      • practical participation by ROK personnel and units in field training exercises in Australia;
      • joint preparation and training opportunities for security, stability, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises and operations; and
      • unit cooperation and personnel exchange in security, stability, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises and operations.
    • Both sides continue to utilise the bilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise HAEDOLI WALLABY as the premier bilateral practical defence exercise between the two countries, committing to conduct this every two years, hosting alternatively where practicable.
    • Both sides continue to develop the complexity of exercises of opportunity between the Australian and ROK Navies, including during reciprocal port visits and coincident deployments.
  3. Trilateral Australia-Republic of Korea-United States Defence Engagement.
    • Both sides explore opportunities for increased practical trilateral defence cooperation. 
  4. Senior visits.
    • Both sides commit to reciprocal counterpart visits for senior Defence Force officers and Department officials, including respective Chiefs and Vice Chiefs of Defence Forces, and Service Chiefs.
  5. Peacekeeping Cooperation.
    • Both sides progress from a collaborative approach in information sharing on peacekeeping operations to working together in preparation for peacekeeping operations and to exchanging personnel on peacekeeping missions where both the ROK and Australia are participating.
  6. Defence Cooperation Agreements.
    • Both sides update the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding in the field of defence cooperation to reflect the expanding defence relationship between Australia and the ROK, including developing a mutual understanding of the requirements for Australian personnel in the ROK, and ROK personnel in Australia.
    • Both sides update the 2010 Agreement on the Protection of Classified Military Information to ensure it continues to reflect the advanced state of defence engagement and requirements for sharing classified information.
  7. United Nations Command.
    • Both sides continue to explore further opportunities for Australia to actively contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula by participating in ROK-US combined exercises as a sending state of the United Nations Command.
    • Australia continues to participate in United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission inspections, investigations and observer missions to maintain the Armistice Agreement.
  8. Logistics.
    • Both sides conduct annual Mutual Logistics Cooperation Meetings to continue expanding the logistics collaboration between Australia and the ROK.
    • Both sides conduct annual Ammunition Working Group Meetings to strengthen mutual ammunition support between the two countries.
  9. Defence Science and Technology.
    • Both sides establish a Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation and the ROK Defense Acquisition Program Administration.
    • Both sides establish regular Joint Steering Committee meeting regime chaired by the Australian Chief Defence Scientist, or designated representative, and the ROK Director-General of Acquisition Planning Bureau.
    • Both sides identify potential collaborative Defence Science and Technology activities of mutual interest, where resources allow.
  10. Education and Training.
    • Both sides establish an Implementing Arrangement on expanded Defence education and training engagement.
    • Both sides establish reciprocal attendance on long term junior staff courses between the Australian Command and Staff College and the ROK Joint Forces Military University.
    • Both sides establish reciprocal attendance on long term senior staff courses between the Australian Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies and the ROK National Defense University.
    • Australia establishes a position for an ROK military cadet to attend the Australian Defence Force Academy.
  11. Dialogue.
    • Both sides actively participate in dialogue between security institutions in both countries, including 1.5 track dialogues, in areas of shared strategic importance, including non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and cyber cooperation.
  12. Defence Industry Cooperation.
    • Both sides renew the arrangements on defense industry cooperation between the Defense Acquisition Program Administration of the ROK and the Department of Defence, Australia.
    • Both sides continue defense industrial cooperation and explore opportunities to expand constructive mutual exchanges by holding the regular bilateral Joint Defense Industry Cooperation Committee Meeting.
  13. Maritime Security.
    • Both sides actively promote maritime security and safety in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other relevant international norms.
    • Both sides participate in counter-piracy dialogues and practical engagement to further strengthen the cooperation between the two countries in this area.
    • Both sides expand the opportunities for personnel exchanges and unit interaction during maritime security deployments such as coincident counter-piracy deployments in the Gulf of Aden.
  14. Information and Communication Technology.
    • Both sides conduct annual information and communication technology talks to continue to ensure that the communication and information sharing protocols enable and support increased practical engagement.

3. Counter-Proliferation

Activity or proposed activity

  1. Australia and the ROK strengthen cooperation in global and regional non-proliferation and arms control fora, including:
    • conducting regular informal exchange of views through foreign ministries; and
    • sharing information and conducting cooperative outreach to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

4. Transnational Law Enforcement

Activity or proposed activity

  1. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) will continue to consult and, where mutually decided, enhance operational cooperation as outlined in the June 2006 Memorandum of Understanding between the AFP and the KNPA on Combating Transnational Crime and Developing Police Cooperation.
  2. In addition, the AFP and KNPA will:
    • build on Hong Kong-based AFP and Sydney-based KNPA liaison;
    • identify mutually beneficial law-enforcement training opportunities to enhance interoperability, including with regional partners;
    • cooperate bilaterally and with other Bali Process members to combat people smuggling and trafficking in persons in the Asia-Pacific region;
    • enhance police-to-police cooperation on counter-terrorism, including intelligence sharing on counter-terrorism matters; and
    • explore scope for a joint police-to-police counter-terrorism cooperation plan.

5. Cyber Security and Space Security

Activity or proposed activity

  1. Australia and the ROK will continue to hold a bilateral cyber-policy dialogue, meeting regularly to address common cyber threats and contribute to international efforts to ensure open and secure cyberspace including discussions on international norms on cyberspace. 
  2. Both sides will also cooperate on space security.
  3. The respective national Computer Emergency Response Teams will deepen cyber security collaboration under the existing arrangements between KrCERT/CC and CERT Australia, including on information sharing.
  4. Both sides will also continue to pursue increased regional and global collaboration on cyber security, including through the multilateral Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (APCERT).
  5. Both sides’ respective law enforcement agencies, in particular the Cyber Bureau of Korean National Police Agency and the Organised Crime and Cyber portfolio of the Australian Federal Police, commit to strengthening police-to-police cooperation.

6. Border Security

Activity or proposed activity

  1. The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)  and Korea Immigration service will consult and where mutually decided, advance the capacity of our border agencies to collaborate in areas of mutual interest, such as:
    • electronic biometrics and identity management, including the processing of passport bio-data at the border within the limit of relevant laws and systems of each country;
    • mutually beneficial training opportunities (e.g. cooperation on forgery trends, identification, or immigration policy or others); and
    • regional cooperation through the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime.
  2. DIBP and the Korea Customs Service will consult and where mutually decided, advance the capacity of our border agencies to collaborate in areas of mutual interest, such as:
    • exploration of opportunities to test interoperability and examine electronic submission of trade-related reporting requirements; and
    • mutually beneficial training opportunities (e.g. cooperation on the detector dog programme and express mail/x-ray screening) to enhance interoperability.
  3. DIBP and Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries will consult and where mutually decided, advance the capacity of our border agencies to collaborate in areas of mutual interest, such as:
    • enhanced operational cooperation in combating piracy and armed robbery at sea as outlined under the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).

7. The Pacific

Activity or proposed activity

  1. Australia and the ROK strengthen economic prosperity, peace and stability in the Pacific region through better coordination in the fields of sustainable development, disaster relief, and diplomatic and multilateral cooperation.
  2. Recognising that real change to the lives of the people in the Pacific will only come about through local leadership by Pacific Island Countries (PICs), both sides support the efforts of the PICs to enhance complementarity between their activities to better meet their development priorities and give effect to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development consistent with the principles of the Forum Compact the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
  3. Both sides will do this through:
    • annual bilateral meetings on cooperation in the Pacific, including Strategic Dialogue Talks;
    • Australia nominating the ROK for observer status at the Pacific Heptagon meetings; and
    • additional ad hoc meetings of DFAT and MOFA staff where suitable on better Pacific cooperation.

8. Crisis Management

Activity or proposed activity

  1. The Australian Attorney-General’s Department and the ROK Ministry of Public Safety and Security will enhance relations and interoperability through negotiation of an interagency Memorandum of Understanding, identifying areas for collaboration that serve both nations’ emergency management policy and operational interests.
  2. Both sides will maintain existing commitments to cooperate on activities of mutual interest within multilateral fora, including:
    • the East Asia Summit through the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management sessions on disaster management cooperation;
    • the APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group and Senior Disaster Management Officials fora; and
    • ASEAN Regional Forum Intercessional Meetings on Disaster Relief.

9. Maritime Safety

Activity or proposed activity

  1. Our maritime safety authorities, including the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and ROK maritime agencies, will continue to cooperate closely in a broad range of activities including on:
    • maritime safety;
    • maritime search and rescue;
    • marine oil spill prevention and response;
    • e-navigation; and
    • protection of the marine environment.
  2. Participating agencies will continue cooperation under the three memoranda of understanding signed in recent years between AMSA and Korea Coast Guard (2012), Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (2013), and the Korean Register of Shipping (2013).
  3. Both sides will maintain consultation on policy and operational matters in order to enhance and develop collaboration and exchange of information on matters of mutual interest, and identify opportunities to enhance the capabilities, including with respect to:
    • the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control in the Asia-Pacific Region (the Tokyo MOU);
    • the International Maritime Organization (IMO);
    • the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA);
    • the Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM);
    • the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); and
    • the Asia-Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies (APHoMSA) forum.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555