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Japanese and South Korean defense officials agreed August 8 to further promote military cooperation in stabilizing the northeast Asian region.

Seven defense officials from each country exchanged opinions on regional military outlooks, exchanges between their forces and the defense policies of the two nations. While agreeing to continue military exchanges such as port calls by naval ships, the two sides also talked about a planned visit to Tokyo in the near future by South Korean Defense Minister Kim Dong Jin.

During the four-hour meeting in Tokyo, the defense representatives spent nearly an hour discussing the military situation on the Korean Peninsula as well as in China and Russia, officials said. The Korean representatives said although North Korea faces economic difficulties, the Kim Jong Il regime has managed to retain control over domestic politics and military affairs.

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