Minister of National Defence Tea Banh stated that cooperation between the armed forces of South Korea and the Kingdom enhances relations between the two nations. He also requested that the South Koreans increase the number of scholarships they offer to officers of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF).

Tea Banh made the remarks while meeting with South Korean Minister of Defence Lee Jong-sup during the 9th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Siem Reap last week.

During the meeting, Lee thanked Tea Banh for hosting his delegation and praised his Cambodian counterpart for successfully leading the ADMM-Plus.

He expressed hope that the Kingdom would continue to play an important part in the development of the ASEAN community.

“Cooperation between South Korea and Cambodia will become an important foundation for enhanced peacekeeping capacity – under the auspices of the UN – of both countries, in the future,” he said.

Within the framework of ADMM-Plus, South Korea plays an active part in several working groups, including in the fields of peacekeeping operations, maritime security and information protection, where they cooperate with many of the ASEAN member states, he added.

To further advance their close ties, Lee asked Cambodia to coordinate his upcoming meetings with the ASEAN defence ministers.

Tea Banh said cooperation between the two countries will improve further, as the threat from the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.

“Although the two defence ministries did not meet in person during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we communicated regularly to make sure our cooperation continues to deepen,” he added.

Tea Banh thanked the Korean defence ministry for providing a series of long-term and short-term training scholarships to the RCAF. So far, 57 RCAF officers have studied in South Korea.

He asked Lee to consider increasing the number of scholarships for the coming years.

Next year, Cambodia plans to invite two South Korean officers to study the Khmer language in the Kingdom, according to the minister.

Following the meeting, the two ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on UN peacekeeping operations, and on the transfer of heavy equipment under the UN’s tripartite project.