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Hagel hails Korean parliament's ratification of defense cost deal

By Lee Chi-dong WASHINGTON, April 16 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Wednesday a new defense cost-sharing deal with South Korea will support joint efforts to bolster combat readiness on the peninsula. He welcomed the South Korean National Assembly's ratification of the special measures agreement (SMA) on sharing the financial burden for stationing 28,500 American troops in South Korea.

Hagel pushes US military ties with China's neighbour Mongolia

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel Thursday endorsed stronger military ties with Mongolia as it seeks a US partnership as a counterweight to its powerful neighbours Russia and China. Hagel and his Mongolian counterpart Dashdemberel Bat-Erdene signed a "joint vision" statement in Ulan Bator calling for expanding military cooperation through joint training and assistance. The document is mostly symbolic but is likely to irritate Beijing, which has accused Washington of trying to hold back its rise by cultivating military ties with smaller Asian neighbours.

U.S. defense chief praises Mongolia, given horse during visit

By Phil Stewart ULAN BATOR (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel praised Mongolian troops and got a horse as a gift during a rare visit on Thursday to the landlocked nation strategically located between China and Russia that sits on vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth. Hagel was the first U.S. defense secretary to visit Mongolia since Donald Rumsfeld stopped there in 2005. He noted the growing role the country has taken in international peacekeeping operations, including in Afghanistan, where it has 350 troops.

In Mongolia, Hagel looks to bolster US military ties

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel flew to Mongolia Thursday to endorse stronger military ties with a government eager for US partnership as a counterweight to its powerful neighbours, Russia and China. Hagel's trip to Mongolia, only the second by a US defence secretary and the first in nine years, will feature the signing of a "joint vision" statement between the two sides that calls for expanding military cooperation through joint training and assistance, US officials said.

China gives US defence chief a tour of its aircraft carrier

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel got a first-hand look at China's new aircraft carrier on Monday as Beijing offered an unprecedented glimpse into its growing military clout. Hagel praised the ship tour as a promising step forward for a fledgling US dialogue with the often secretive People's Liberation Army (PLA), but the two sides remained deeply divided on cyber-spying and regional territorial disputes.

U.S. defense chief, in first, visits China's aircraft carrier

By Phil Stewart QINGDAO, China (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took a two-hour tour around China's sole aircraft carrier on Monday, in an unprecedented opening by Beijing to a potent symbol of its military power. The carrier visit came at the start of Hagel's three day trip to China, his first as defense secretary, and was described by one U.S. official traveling with him as an apparently genuine gesture of transparency by the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Hagel visits China's aircraft carrier in Qingdao

BEIJING, April 7 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel arrived in China's eastern port city of Qingdao on Monday, beginning his three-day visit to China for discussions on global and regional security issues, including North Korea's nuclear programs. China is Hagel's third stop on his 10-day trip across the Asia-Pacific and his first visit to Beijing as the U.S. defense chief. The trip comes at a time when regional tensions have been growing amid the North's threat of a fresh nuclear test and growing rivalry between Beijing and Tokyo.

China shows off new aircraft carrier to US defence chief

China showed off its new aircraft carrier to US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday, allowing him a first-hand look at a symbol of its growing military prowess. Hagel arrived in the port city of Qingdao, kicking off a three-day tour of China with a visit to the carrier at Yuchi naval base. He was the first foreigner allowed aboard the vessel by the often secretive People's Liberation Army (PLA), officials said.

Hagel due in Beijing after reassuring Tokyo on security ties

BEIJING, April 7 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was to arrive in Beijing Monday for discussions on global and regional security issues, including North Korea's nuclear program, after reassuring Tokyo of Washington's commitment to its defense posture. China is Hagel's third stop on his 10-day trip across the Asia-Pacific and his first visit to Beijing as the U.S. defense chief at a time when regional tensions have been growing amid the North's threat of a fresh nuclear test and worsening rivalry between Beijing and Tokyo.

Robust Japan-U.S. alliance remains unchanged: Abe tells Hagel

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the start of talks Saturday with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that he will send a strong message that the robust Japan-U.S. alliance remains unchanged. Abe and Hagel held talks in Tokyo amid growing security challenges in East Asia, including China's military assertiveness and North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs.
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