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Pacific army chiefs' meeting to open in Seoul

2017/09/18 08:43

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SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) -- A meeting of top army officers from Indo-Asia-Pacific countries will open in Seoul later Monday amid escalating tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, South Korea's Army said.

The biennial Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (PACC) will bring together army chiefs of staff and senior commanders from 29 nations, co-hosted by South Korea's Army Chief of Staff Gen. Kim Yong-woo and his American counterpart Mark A. Milley.

China is also sending a three-star general to the session scheduled to run through Thursday under the theme "Unity of Effort: Building Civil-Military Partnerships in Land Force Response to Non-Traditional Security Threats."

  

This file photo provided by EPA on Sept. 14, 2015, shows a meeting of the Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference in Bali, Indonesia. (Yonhap) This file photo provided by EPA on Sept. 14, 2015, shows a meeting of the Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference in Bali, Indonesia. (Yonhap)

It will be the first visit by a high-level Chinese military official since South Korea and the United States agreed to deploy the advanced THAAD missile defense system on the peninsula last year.

The PACC will kick off with a keynote speech by former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel.

And then a discussion session on North Korea will be held jointly by Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of the U.S. Forces Korea; Choi Young-jin, South Korea's former ambassador to the U.S.; and Michael O'Hanlon, a senior research fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The South Korean army chief of staff plans to use a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings to brief his counterparts on the seriousness of North Korea's threats and on Seoul's resolve to cope resolutely with them, his office said.

The PACC was launched in 1999 to promote ties among leading army officers in the region on major security issues.

South Korea will also host the Pacific Armies Management Seminar (PAMS) at the same venue during the period. PAMS is an annual seminar for three- to four-star generals or those equivalent that started in 1978.

lcd@yna.co.kr

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