South Korea’s deeper partnership with NATO highlighted

Jens Stoltenberg addressing the forum (NATO)

Jens Stoltenberg addressing the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity (NATO)

JEJU, SOUTH KOREA: North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has highlighted the alliance’s commitment to deepen practical cooperation with South Korea and three other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

“The challenges we face are global, and they require a global response. For this reason, NATO is working ever more closely with partners around the world,” Stoltenberg said in a video message to the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity in the Republic of Korea.

The Secretary General welcomed NATO’s deepening partnerships with South Korea, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand who are among NATO’s closest partners.

He underlined NATO’s commitment to deepen practical cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners in several practical areas, including cyber defence, counter-disinformation, and emerging technologies.

The Republic of Korea is an important and long-standing NATO partner. This partnership was further strengthened with the establishment of an Individually Tailored Partnership Programme in July 2023.

This is the first time that NATO has engaged with the Jeju Forum, an annual international peace forum on South Korea’s southern resort island of Jeju, with discussions focusing on key security challenges from geopolitical uncertainties and climate change to supply chains.

The forum, the theme of “Acting Together for a Better World,” is taking place amid growing geopolitical risks, with the ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip posing fresh challenges to the global security environment, along with the expanding military cooperation between North Korea and Russia, Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.

More than 3,000 participants from some 30 countries and 30 international organizations are participating in the three-day forum that brings together prominent foreign policy experts and former and incumbent figures from the government and private sectors.

Cho Tae-yul addressing the forum (Yonhap)

Cho Tae-yul addressing the forum (Yonhap)

South Korea is seeking to actively position itself as a cooperation hub in various networks, highlighting its vision as a “global pivotal state,” the country’s foreign minister has said.

The vision, promoted by the current government of President Yoon Suk Yeol, aims for South Korea to serve as a responsible nation that upholds and promotes freedom, human rights and the rule of law.

“Under the vision of ‘global pivotal state,’ the government is participating in multilateral and multi-layered networks such as South Korea-U.S.-Japan, South Korea-China-Japan, the G7, and NATO to play its role as a hub for regional cooperation networks,” Cho Tae-yul said in his opening speech for the banquet dinner at forum.

“As the divide between liberal and authoritarian worldviews deepens, it has become almost impossible to pursue pragmatic diplomacy detached from values,” Cho said.

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