President Yoon Suk-yeol landed in Madrid, the host city of the 2022 NATO Summit late Monday night to participate in the multilateral meeting for the next three days.
Not only is this Yoon’s global debut on the multilateral summit scene, but it's also a first for a South Korean president to take part in a NATO gathering.
South Korea is one of four Asia-Pacific Partner nations that’s been invited to this year’s gathering by the 30-membered North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Speaking to the traveling press on Air Force One, the new president seemed less anxious and more confident about his international debut.
"Only the multilateral summit is two and a half hours long. I don't think I will get much time for the rest of the bilateral meetings as there isn't much time for each. The bilats will mostly be getting to know them, checking on some current issues and promising a next time.
Seoul’s top office is eyeing various achievements.
"The President will take this opportunity to strengthen solidarity based on values and liberal democracy, establish a base for comprehensive security, and seek effective ways to counter emerging security threats."
At the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with Partner Nations, Yoon is also expected to unveil his North Korea policy on a global level for the first time - an “audacious plan” to denuclearize North Korea.
But that’s not all.
The new South Korean president has meetings scheduled with other world leaders.
Here, Yoon will discuss economic security issues including nuclear power plant exports, arms sales, cooperation on semiconductors and hydrogen power.
And there is a trilateral between South Korea, U.S., and Japan which was only finalized at the 11th hour.
"This is it. Right here in Madrid from showcasing South Korea as one of the leading nations in global issues and nailing sales diplomacy at the highest level to dealing with Japan both in the context of Seoul, Washington, Tokyo trilateral cooperation AND in opening a leeway for improvement in South Korea, Japan ties… President Yoon Suk-yeol has a lot to prove as this first overseas tour will serve as a litmus test for the next five years ahead.
Moon Connyoung, Arirang News, Madrid."