"Building Peace Together: Challenges and Visions" that's the theme for this year's multi-national security dialogue platform, the Seoul Defense Dialogue.
Aimed at facilitating a platform for discussion on the geopolitical situation of the Korean peninsula and the surrounding region, as well as peacekeeping operations and cybersecurity the eighth vice-ministerial event held its opening ceremony in Seoul on Thursday.
The event brings together hundreds of officials and experts from around 50 countries and two international organizations.
In his opening address, Seoul's Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo highlighted the achievements of the Comprehensive Military Agreement, signed almost 12 months ago, in alleviating inter-Korean tensions.
This, despite a series of launches of short-range ballistic missiles by North Korea in recent weeks.
He highlighted efforts to build mutual trust in the region through dialogue while also saying South Korea's security strategy lies in achieving peace by building strong military strength and defense capabilities.
"After the inter-Korean military agreement, during the past year, military guard posts have been removed from the inter-Korean border on a trial basis while the disarmament of security guards at the Joint Security Area in Panmunjeom has been completed. Also up until now, some 15-hundred Korean War remains have been excavated in the DMZ."
He also highlighted the efforts to build mutual trust in the region through dialogue and raised security concerns, saying that neighboring countries near the peninsula presumably Japan are trying to trigger tensions.
During the first plenary session of the "Peace Process on the Korean Peninsula and International Cooperation" Vice Defense Minister Park Jae-min echoed Jeong's remarks underscoring the government's efforts to maintain the momentum of dialogue for denuclearization.
It's the first time a U.S. Forces Korea commander participates in the annual event while General Robert Abrams participated in the opening ceremony and the banquet.
"The fact that U.S. Forces Korea commander Robert Abrams came to the event is viewed by many with relief amid speculation of a widening rift in the alliance after Washington rebuked Seoul for its refusal to renew a military intel-sharing pact with Japan.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News."