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International relations

South Korea's Yoon shows support for defense cooperation with Japan

President discusses Tokyo's defense buildup with Japanese ruling coalition lawmaker

Japanese ruling coalition lawmaker Natsuo Yamaguchi, left, meets with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on Dec. 29.   © Kyodo

SEOUL -- South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol urged close security cooperation between his country and Japan in response to the nuclear threat from Pyongyang when he met Thursday with a top Japanese lawmaker to discuss Tokyo's planned defense buildup.

Natsuo Yamaguchi, who leads Japanese ruling coalition member Komeito, told Yoon on a visit to Seoul about Japan's plans to expand defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product and to acquire counterstrike capability to hit missile bases that pose a threat.

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