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S. Korea to establish mission to NATO in Brussels Updated: 2022-06-23 13:31:49 KST

South Korea will establish a diplomatic mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels in time for President Yoon Suk-yeol's visit to Madrid next week to participate in the NATO summit.
That's according to the president's National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han on Wednesday where he also laid out what President Yoon aims to achieve at the multilateral summit as the very first South Korean head of state to attend a NATO meeting.

"President Yoon will strengthen value-based solidarity rooted in liberal democracy with 30 NATO allies and partners at the NATO summit. We expect to garner broad support from the participants by making clear our stance on North Korea's nuclear and related issues at the summit."

South Korea is invited to the meeting this year as one of the four partners in the Asia-Pacific along with Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

On the sidelines of the multilateral summit, President Yoon will likely hold a trilateral with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Joe Biden and Fumio Kishida.
Seoul's top office said coordination is currently underway for some ten bilateral meetings, but hinted that a Yoon, Kishida one-on-one is less likely as ties between the two countries remain frosty over historical issues and as Japan has a House of Councillors elections coming up.

At the multilateral, South Korea plans to establish a security network with NATO and boost its humanitarian assistance to Ukraine as Russia's invasion of Ukraine will most likely top the multilateral summit table.

"President Yoon will establish a comprehensive security network with NATO allies amid unpredictable international situation, such as the Ukraine crisis. As South Korea is not a member of the NATO, we seek a comprehensive security cooperation with NATO, not a collective defense."

It's in line with this goal that Seoul plans to open a mission to NATO for more active communication, cooperation on nuclear energy and chips as well as coordination on emerging security challenges in cyber space, aerospace, climate change and more.

"President Yoon Suk-yeol plans to take his debut on the multilateral summit stage to boost the nation’s diplomatic ties with other countries that share common values and up its contribution in the international arena."
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
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