The results of President Yoon Seok-yeol’s attendance at the NATO summit are becoming visible. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has approved the establishment of a Korean delegation. As a result, Korea will be able to have a representative office like other NATO Asia-Pacific (AP) Partners.
NATO “Accepts Korea’s request to establish a representative office… An important step to strengthen the partnership.”
The North Atlantic Council (NAC), NATO’s supreme decision-making body, announced on the 27th that it had agreed to accept the Korean government’s request to designate the Korean Embassy in Belgium as NATO’s representative to Korea on the 26th (local time).
“This approval is an important step to strengthen the partnership between NATO and South Korea,” NATO said in a press release. NATO added, “Allies have agreed to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with partners in the Indo-Pacific region to address inter-regional challenges and common security interests within a new strategic concept.”
According to NATO’s decision, the Korean government appoints an ambassador to NATO and NATO approves it, and the related process is completed. Typically, this process takes about six weeks. The government is expected to appoint Yoon Soon-koo, Ambassador to Belgium, as the first NATO ambassador to serve as the first ambassador of the NATO delegation.
NATO “Korea, NATO working partner… working together since 2005”
NATO announced the acceptance of the establishment of the Korean delegation, saying, “Korea is an active partner of NATO,” adding, “Since 2005, the two sides have developed a strong cooperative relationship based on common values.”
“Both sides are developing political dialogue and practical cooperation in various fields, especially in the areas of non-proliferation, cyber security, counter-terrorism, civil science projects related to security, interoperability, chemistry, biology, radiation and nuclear defense, and response to disasters,” he said.” he emphasized.
Contrary to NATO’s explanation, only Australia, New Zealand and Japan have so far established representative offices in NATO among the Asia-Pacific partner countries (AP4).
It is analyzed that the diplomatic efforts of President Yoon Seok-yeol and NATO’s complete review of the strategic concept this year could have had a significant impact on the establishment of a representative office in NATO this time.
Chinese state media “Involving Korea and NATO will only exacerbate conflicts and divisions in the region”
NATO decided to expand its involvement in the Indo-Pacific region by completely revising the ‘strategic concept’ created in 2010 when the Ukraine war began. NATO specifically defined China as a ‘structural challenge’ and noted that “China’s coercive ambitions and policies challenge Western security interests and values.”
Meanwhile, China is protesting the news that NATO has accepted the establishment of South Korea’s representative office, saying it will “harm stability in Northeast Asia.”
On the 29th, the Global Times, a Chinese state-run media, said, “The view of experts is that if US-led NATO is brought into regional security (East Asia), it will increasing instability in the Indo-Pacific and Northeast Asia.” This will worsen diplomatic autonomy and will not help South Korea’s economic and security interests from a long-term perspective, but will also exacerbate conflicts and divisions in the region.”