South Korea and Russia on Thursday agreed to establish direct bilateral military hotlines to strengthen their communication to prevent accidental clashes at sea and in the air, the Defence Ministry in Seoul said.
Kim Sang-jin, the Ministry's director general for international policy, and Viktor Kalganov, deputy director of Russia's National Defense Control Center, signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) to set up the hotline between the two countries' Navies and another between their Air Forces, reports Yonhap News Agency.
The two countries have sought to deepen bilateral communication, as Russian military aircraft had entered South Korea's air defence identification zone multiple times in the past without prior notice, raising concerns about needless military tensions between the two countries.
"Through this MOU, we expect that the two countries can forestall accidental clashes in the air and at sea by strengthening trust and communication between the military authorities of South Korea and Russia," the Ministry said in a press release.
"It is also expected to contribute to a reduction of tensions and the establishment of peace in the region," it added.
One of the two hotlines is to be established for communication between South Korea's ROK Fleet Command and Russia's Pacific Fleet, while the other connects the Korean Air Force's First Master Control and Reporting Centre and Russia's 11th Air and Air Defence Forces Army.
ROK stands for South Korea's official name, Republic of Korea.