Australia and South Korea sign $1b defence deal

Australia and South Korea have signed a $1 billion defence agreement today as Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Moon Jae-in held talks in Canberra. Under the agreement, Korean defence company Hanwha will provide 30 self-propelled howitzer artillery weapons, 15 ammunition supply vehicles and radars. It will also include a new Centre of Excellence built jointly between the South Korean company and the Federal Government in the Victorian region of Geelong. READ MORE: Emotional reunions as Queensland border opens Speaking on the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Australia and South Korea, Mr Morrison said the links between the two nations were strong. "The contract with Hanwha demonstrates the value of industrial collaboration in supporting our countries in addressing mutual security challenges," Mr Morrison said. "We are partnering with Hanwha to create an Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence in the Geelong region, which will establish a further strategic defence indu..

Australia and South Korea have signed a $1 billion defence agreement today as Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Moon Jae-in held talks in Canberra.

Under the agreement, Korean defence company Hanwha will provide 30 self-propelled howitzer artillery weapons, 15 ammunition supply vehicles and radars.

It will also include a new Centre of Excellence built jointly between the South Korean company and the Federal Government in the Victorian region of Geelong.

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Speaking on the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Australia and South Korea, Mr Morrison said the links between the two nations were strong.

"The contract with Hanwha demonstrates the value of industrial collaboration in supporting our countries in addressing mutual security challenges," Mr Morrison said.

"We are partnering with Hanwha to create an Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence in the Geelong region, which will establish a further strategic defence industry hub and future export opportunities for Australian businesses."

Mr Morrison said the deal would create a minimum of 300 jobs.

As part of the deepening ties between Australia and South Korea, both will upgrade their relationship to a "comprehensive strategic partnership".

Mr Moon is making a four-day visit to Australia.

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Leaders pledge on Indo-Pacific security

Mr Morrison and Mr Moon both stressed their nations' ambitions of securing a free and open Indo-Pacific region as Chinese military power expands.

The Australian prime minister stressed a strong security environment was important in confronting economic and trade sanctions by Beijing.

"To ensure peace and stability, yes, you need a strong security environment where the rule of law is upheld and those who seek to live by that rule of law – which we would hope to be everybody – abide by it, and we uphold the institutions importantly that make that possible."

Mr Moon said South Korea and Australia defend the same values, but the relationship with China was also very important.

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"We want a harmonised relationship. And we want to maintain such a relationship, and we will be putting in the efforts to make this happen," Mr Moon said.

Mr Morrison said South Korea has an important role to play in resolving tensions between China and Taiwan.

"It does have its own unique standing within the region and its own relationships with each of the key principles that are engaged in that issue and we both share a very strong partnership and alliance with the United States and that provides an opportunity for dialogue," he said.

"Equally, Korea also has a very strong and open dialogue with China."

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