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Russia, U.S. Join ASEAN Nations To Discuss North Korea, Terrorism


Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (file photo)

Russian and U.S. defense chiefs will join Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) counterparts to discuss threats related to terrorism and North Korea’s weapons program at meetings in the Philippines starting on October 23.

ASEAN nations -- Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam -- are slated to meet the first day.

Defense ministers from the ASEAN nations will be joined on October 24 by their counterparts from Russia, the United States, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and India.

Cooperation on maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster response, and cybersecurity will also be discussed.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is expected to attend the meetings.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived early on October 23 and said he would talk with the Asian countries about Pyongyang's "reckless" provocations.

Mattis will also visit Thailand and South Korea during the trip, laying the groundwork for a trip weeks later by President Donald Trump, his first to Asia as the U.S. leader.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa
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