South Korea: ‘Tailored partnership’ with NATO to boost security cooperation

South Korea: ‘Tailored partnership’ with NATO to boost security cooperation

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with Suk Yeol Yoon (President of Republic of Korea)

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea to the NATO Summit in Vilnius on Tuesday, 11 July 2023.

Saying that Russia’s war in Ukraine shows how security is not regional but global, Mr Stoltenberg commended South Korea for its support to Ukraine. He also expressed concern about North Korea’s provocative behavior, including nuclear activity and ballistic missile tests which violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions.

The Secretary General welcomed NATO’s deepening partnership with Seoul, including the new partnership programme between the Alliance and South Korea. This programme will further strengthen cooperation including on cyber defence, counter-terrorism, arms control, and new technologies. South Korea opened a diplomatic mission to NATO last November.

The Individually Tailored Partnership Programme (ITPP) specifies 11 sectors of cooperation between Korea and NATO like dialogue and consultation, cooperation in anti-terrorism efforts, disarmament and nonproliferation, emerging technologies, cybersecurity and public diplomacy.

After becoming a NATO partner state in 2006, Korea in 2012 signed the Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP), with the ITPP being an upgraded version of this.

The Office of the President said, “Unlike the previous IPCP, which simply mentioned the areas of cooperation, the ITPP specifies in detail cooperation goals, the background of selecting areas for cooperation, strategic targets, detailed project content and implementation schedule to achieve cooperation.”

At a news briefing in Vilnius, presidential spokesperson Lee Do Woon said President Yoon and Secretary General Stoltenberg hailed the ITPP for laying the foundation to institutionalize bilateral cooperation.

The two leaders also discussed boosting cooperation in information sharing at a groundbreaking level.

President Yoon explained to the NATO head his ideas of hosting international cyber training in Korea and opening a related center there, saying, “I look forward to close cooperation with the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.”

After this meeting, President Yoon held a series of bilateral summits with the leaders of seven NATO allied countries on enhancing cooperation in a range of areas like high-tech sectors, the defense industry, infrastructure and human exchange.


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