Asian nation seeks NATO mission — Analysis
South Korea is looking to bolster its ties with the US-led bloc, citing the “unpredictable” international security situation
South Korea is planning to set up a mission to NATO headquarters in Europe, the country’s National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han revealed Wednesday. Seoul is a close ally to Washington and wants to strengthen its cooperation with the US-led bloc. “unpredictable”The official clarified that the international situation was being addressed.
“By establishing a NATO mission in Brussels, Belgium, where NATO is headquartered, we will be able to increase information-sharing and strengthen our networks with NATO members and partner nations,”Kim spoke during a press conference.
The new mission is expected to be headed by South Korea’s envoy to Belgium, Yoon Soongu, local media reported, citing unnamed presidential officials. His current positions were not confirmed, but he doubles as ambassador to EU.
The country’s President Yoon Suk-yeol is expected to attend the upcoming NATO summit in Madrid, scheduled for June 29-30, with the event becoming the first major international visit for the official, who took office on May 10. It’s also the first time ever for a South Korean president to attend a NATO summit.
The NATO meeting, apart from South Korea’s leader, will be hosting other Asia-Pacific leaders. The summit is expected to focus primarily on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but it will also discuss the other issues. “challenges”The threat posed by China was revealed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“For the first time, we will address China and the challenges it poses to our interests, security and values,”Stoltenberg spoke to Politico Wednesday in an interview.
“In this context, I welcome that the leaders of our Asia-Pacific partners – Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea – will take part in our Summit for the first time,”NATO’s chief also added.