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Joint statement on enhanced global & security cooperation between Australia & the Republic of Korea

by the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, and the President of the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-bak

Joint Statement

On 5 March 2009, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia and President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea met in Canberra.

The two leaders:

Acknowledging that the Australia-Korea relationship, forged during the Korean War, had developed into a broad-based partnership, including substantial trade and investment links and strong people-to-people ties;

Committing to further strengthen the relationship on the basis of shared democratic values, commitment to human rights, freedom and the rule of law, and mutual respect, trust and deep friendship;

Recognising that Australia and the Republic of Korea share key security interests in Northeast Asia, the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, with peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in East Asia, including the early resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue, critical to the prosperity and security of both countries; and, in this context, confirming the strategic importance of their respective alliance partnerships with the United States;

Affirming the two countries' common purpose in working actively together, and with other countries through fora such as APEC, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit, and the G20, to advance the development, stability and security of the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the face of the international financial crisis;

Affirming also the two countries' commitment to cooperate together and with other countries through the United Nations and other multilateral institutions to promote and help ensure global security;

Recalling that during their meeting in August 2008, they agreed to explore opportunities to expand global and security cooperation;

Reflecting the extent to which Australia and the Republic of Korea already cooperate on a wide range of issues;

Have agreed to a comprehensive Action Plan for Enhanced Global and Security Cooperation between Australia and the Republic of Korea (attached), under which the governments of Australia and the Republic of Korea will:

    1. Consult closely and meet regularly, including at ministerial level, to discuss matters of common strategic interest in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond and to continuously explore and develop opportunities for cooperation.
    2. Cooperate more closely on law enforcement to combat transnational crime, including trafficking in illegal narcotics and precursors, people smuggling and trafficking, money-laundering, counterfeiting currency and arms smuggling, piracy and armed robbery against ships, and on border security issues.
    3. Consult and cooperate bilaterally, and in regional and multilateral fora, on counter-terrorism issues, including on cyber-security and cyber-terrorism, and to advance the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
    4. Continue to expand cooperation on global disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery through a range of mechanisms including the United Nations and its associated agencies and the International Commission for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.
    5. Build on the established good level of strategic dialogue and cooperation between the two countries' defence forces by exploring opportunities for defence engagement in areas such as peacekeeping, civil-military cooperation, defence management, joint exercises, training and exchange programs and the establishment of linkages between the Asia-Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence and Korean institutions.
    6. Conclude a bilateral agreement on the protection of classified military information that will enable the secure exchange of classified military information between defence organisations and related industry contractors, thereby facilitating further opportunities for practical defence and defence industry cooperation.
    7. Promote greater cooperation between the Australian and Republic of Korea defence industries, including by exploring cooperation on Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, including through sharing information to assist in developing future enhancements; and by examining possibilities for cooperation on other defence industry and materiel procurement and maintenance activities.
    8. Enhance cooperation on development and humanitarian assistance, including to promote achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and improve aid effectiveness.
    9. Cooperate more closely on disaster and emergency preparedness, response and management.

Action Plan

Areas of Cooperation

1. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation and consultation on issues of common strategic interest in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Proposed activity Australian Agency ROK Agency Purpose
Annual Foreign Ministers' meetings. DFAT MOFAT High-level, regular consultations to deepen the bilateral relationship, including to continuously develop opportunities for cooperation under this Action Plan; and explore ways of addressing wider regional and global issues.
Optimise opportunities for regular bilateral Heads-of-Government meetings. PM&C/
Consult closely on the Asia Pacific Community initiative. DFAT MOFAT
Hold Political-Military and Defence Policy discussions, and Senior Officials Talks, on an annual basis. DFAT/Defence MOFAT/MND To exchange information on strategic matters, defence policy directions, and regional security; and to explore opportunities for further cooperation under this Action Plan.

2. Law enforcement to combat transnational crime, including trafficking in illegal narcotics and precursors, people smuggling and trafficking, money laundering, counterfeiting currency and arms smuggling.

Proposed activity Australian Agency ROK Agency Purpose
  1. Continue to consult and where mutually agreeable enhance operational cooperation, as outlined in the June 2006 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the KNPA and the AFP on Combating Transnational Crime and Developing Police Cooperation.
AFP KNPA To increase operational cooperation and the exchange of criminal intelligence, and to develop intelligence linkages - all of which will, in turn, improve the speed and timeliness of engagement on key transnational crime issues.
  1. Building on current AFP liaison out of Hong Kong, expand to include more A-based subject experts' visits to the ROK.
  1. Facilitate more ROK law-enforcement training in Australia and the region.
AFP KNPA c) To help develop the investigations capability of ROK law enforcement agencies.
  1. Work cooperatively together and with other Bali Process members to combat people smuggling and trafficking in persons in the Asia-Pacific region.
MOFAT d) To advance regional cooperation through the Bali Process on People Smuggling Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime.
  1. Customs bilateral mutual assistance, including personnel exchange.
Customs KCS e) To enhance the capacity of customs agencies to collaborate in areas of mutual interest.

3. Border security

Proposed activity Australian Agency ROK Agency Purpose
  1. Consult closely on implementation of APEC's Regional Movement Alert System (RMAS, a border security and counter-terrorism initiative currently involving Australia, New Zealand and the United States).
a) To advance the objectives of enhancing regional border security and fostering stronger relations within APEC by providing real-time access to accurate, up-to-date passport data.
  1. Cooperate on inter-operability via APEC Single Window working group.
Customs KCS b) To develop electronic Single Window systems to facilitate trade, and enhance supply-chain security within APEC economies.

4. Counter-terrorism

Proposed activity Australian Agency ROK Agency Purpose
  1. Consult bilaterally on counter-terrorism, including regular Counter-Terrorism Ambassadors' consultations.
  1. Enhance cooperation on cyber-security and cyber-terrorism by working bilaterally, as well as within regional fora such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and APEC.
AGD MOFAT (b) The internet is global and securing it requires collaboration between all nations. Australia and the ROK to work together when opportunities arise to enhance cyber-security.
  1. Cooperate to advance the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
DFAT MOFAT (c) To advance the objectives of the Initiative.
  1. Enhanced police-to-police cooperation on counter-terrorism.
AFP KNPA (d) Australian and Korean police to develop proposals for enhanced cooperation in combating-terrorism.

5. Disarmament and counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery

Proposed activity Australian Agency ROK Agency Purpose
  1. Cooperate on export controls in the Australia Group, the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Wassenaar Arrangement and Zangger Committee and other fora.
DFAT MOFAT a) To cooperate to prevent proliferation through strengthened export controls including the implementation of UNSCR 1540c.
  1. Work closely in the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.
DFAT MOFAT b) To re-energise international discussion on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
  1. Cooperation in the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty review process.
DFAT MOFAT c) To strengthen the NPT process and reaffirm the core principles of the NPT.
  1. Cooperate in the JACKSNNZ group to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention.
DFAT MOFAT d) Cooperation bilaterally and with others in JACKSNNZ group to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention.
  1. Work together in the ARF ISM on non-proliferation and disarmament.
MOFAT e) To ensure our mutual interests on non-proliferation and disarmament are adequately addressed in the newly established ARF ISM
  1. Sign an MOU on cooperation on nuclear safeguards and security and implement practical activities under it.
ASNO KINAC f) To facilitate cooperation between the two countries and to promote effective nuclear safeguards in the Asia-Pacific region.

6. Peacekeeping and other Defence cooperation

Proposed activity Australian Agency ROK Agency Purpose
  1. Sign treaty-status bilateral Agreement on the protection of classified military information.
Defence MND a) To provide a legally-binding framework for the exchange of classified military information.
  1. Explore opportunities for increased working-level exchanges on civil-military cooperation (CIVMIC).
b) To develop common understanding and improve ROK familiarity with Australian civil-military cooperation techniques and tactics.
  1. Continue to offer the ROK positions on Defence run courses in the areas of peacekeeping, defence management, and civil-military cooperation.
c) To forge personnel linkages, build relationships, and exchange knowledge on emergency and disaster management, defence management and leadership, civil-military cooperation and peacekeeping.
  1. Continue to offer the ROK positions on the Australian Command and Staff College, and Defence Strategic Studies Course.
d) To provide ROK students with a unique opportunity to learn and establish relationships with Australia's future Defence leaders and exchange perspectives on defence and security issues.
  1. Establish linkages between the Asia-Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence and Korean institutions; and identify opportunities for enhanced dialogue, exchanges of knowledge and collaborative education and training.
e)To develop further opportunities for defence engagement in peacekeeping, civil-military cooperation and defence management; and enhance both countries' capacity to prevent, prepare for and respond more effectively to disasters and conflicts overseas.
  1. Enhance bilateral exercises during ship visits.
f) To develop strategic and operational inter-operability between naval forces.
  1. Navy-to-Navy Talks in 2009-10
g) To develop naval ties and explore and develop opportunities for practical defence and naval engagement.
  1. Airman-to-Airman Talks in 2009-10.
Defence MND h) To develop air force ties and explore and develop opportunities for practical defence and air force engagement.
i) Joint Defence Industry Cooperation Committee: industry and materiel cooperation Defence DAPA i) To explore opportunities for future defence industry and materiel cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including Airborne Early Warning and Control.
j) Continue short-term fellowships for ROK students at the Australian Defence Force Academy and pursue options for Australian personnel to conduct short-term study at the Korean National Defence University (KNDU) or similar ROK institutions Defence MND j) To improve professional and practical linkages between educational institutions, and provide students with unique opportunities for professional and academic development.
k) Explore options for KNPA officers to attend the AFP's International Deployment Group pre-deployment training facility. AFP KNPA k) To assess KNPA interest in making use of the AFP's UN-accredited training courses, as a precursor to KNPA officers being deployed on UN missions.

7. Maritime Security

Proposed activity Australian Agency ROK Agency Purpose
Consultation and closer practical cooperation on maritime security, including to combat piracy and armed robbery against ships, primarily through international fora such as the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS). DFAT MOFAT

8. Development Cooperation, with a focus on humanitarian operations, including disaster relief and management

Proposed activity Australian Agency ROK Agency Purpose
  1. Bilateral and multilateral coordination related to development assistance.
a) To improve aid effectiveness.
  1. Conduct bilateral dialogue on disaster risk reduction, preparedness and response; and pursue opportunities for bilateral collaboration on training for disaster response management, or training for delivering humanitarian assistance relief in third countries.
b) To coordinate Australia-ROK approaches to the development of regional disaster management mechanisms.
  1. Collaboration with ROK through ASEAN+3 Emerging Infectious Diseases Program (EID), Phase II, 2006-2009.
AusAID MOHWF c) To enhance regional preparedness and capacity in integrating surveillance, early recognition of outbreaks, diagnostic capability and timely response to emerging infectious diseases.
  1. Cooperate on disaster prevention and response via APEC Emergency Management CEO's Forum.
  1. Cooperate on emergency preparedness via the APEC Task Force for Emergency Preparedness.
  1. Cooperate in ARF Disaster Relief activities.
MOFAT f) To ensure ARF disaster relief activities focus on areas in which the forum can best add value.
  1. Develop an administrative arrangement on bilateral cooperation on disaster and emergency management.

9. Review of the Action Plan

Proposed activity Australian Agency ROK Agency Purpose
Use bilateral policy consultations, including Senior Officials Talks and Political-Military Talks, as the main consultative channels to discuss and review necessary updates of the Action Plan. DFAT MOFAT To monitor the implementation of the Action Plan and consider new proposals for expanding cooperation under it.

Agency involvement

Australian Agencies

AFP Australian Federal Police
AGD Attorney General's Department
ASNO Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office
AusAID Australian Agency for International Development
Customs Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
Defence Department of Defence
DMO Defence Materiel Organisation
DSTO Defence Science and Technology Organisation
DFAT Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
DIAC Department of Immigration and Citizenship
Infrastructure Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
DOTARS Department of Transport and Regional Services
RAN Royal Australian Navy
RAAF Royal Australian Air Force

ROK Agencies

DAPA Defense Acquisition Program Administration
KCS Korea Customs Service
KINAC Korea Institute of Nuclear Non-proliferation and Control
KNPA Korea National Policy Agency
KOICA Korea International Cooperation Agency
MOHWF Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs
MND Ministry of National Defense
MOFAT Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
MOJ Ministry of Justice
MOLTMA Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs
MOPAS Ministry of Public Administration and Security
NEMA National Emergency Management Agency

Contact us

If you have a specific inquiry on any of these issues, please contact DFAT's Korean Peninsula and Mongolia Section:

Fax: +61 2 6261 1571

Post: Korean Peninsula and Mongolia Section
Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
RG Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent

For media enquiries, please call DFAT's Media Liaison Section: +61 2 6261 1555

Last Updated: 6 December 2013
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