The Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD), a vice ministerial-level multilateral security forum held first in Seoul last year, brought together around 180 high-level military officials and experts from 21 countries and three international organizations to this year's second round of the security conference, according to the Defense Ministry.
Among the participants which sent vice minister-level officials were nine nations and two organizations, including South Korea, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, Thailand and Mongol along with the United Nations and the European Union (EU).
Major powers, including China and the United States, dispatched assistant minister-level officials or below along with Russia, India, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The forum started Monday with several bilateral and multilateral talks, including those between South Korean Vice Defense Minister Baek Seung-joo and his counterparts from the Philippines, Indonesia, the United States, the U.N. and the EU.
The highly-anticipated bilateral talks between Baek and his Japanese counterpart Masanori Nishi will be held on Wednesday afternoon to discuss a planned intelligence pact, which can make it possible for two neighbors to exchange confidential information on defense matters.
The meeting between Baek and Nishi, the first of its kind since November 2011, was also expected to talk about Japan's attempt to exercise collective self-defense right and holding a bilateral defense ministerial dialogue at an early date.
On Tuesday, panels will start discussing regional security issues through five sessions: peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia and comprehensive security in the Asia-Pacific region; global non-proliferation and the role of Asia-Pacific countries; the role of the military within the governance of the national cyber security; directions for advancing the international rule of cyber security; defense planning in a time of budgetary constraint.
The forum will focus on the WMD non-proliferation, which needs cooperation from countries, as ongoing security threats in the region were increasing difficult for countries to respond individually.