Yonhap News
June 28, 2022

Yoon to agree to new partnership with NATO in second half of year

President Yoon Suk-yeol will meet with the secretary-general of NATO on Tuesday and promise to enter into a new cooperation program between South Korea and the military alliance in the latter half of the year, an official said.

Yoon arrived in Madrid, Spain, the previous day on his first overseas trip as president. He is scheduled to attend a NATO summit Wednesday, and also hold a series of bilateral and multilateral summits on the sidelines.

Speaking in a meeting with his aides Tuesday morning, Yoon said, “Madrid is the point where South Korea’s Indo-Pacific strategy, and global security and peace plan intersect with NATO’s new strategic concept of 2022.”

In a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday, Yoon will pledge US$100 million in humanitarian assistance for Ukraine and outline South Korea’s plan to establish a mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium, where the organization is headquartered, according to the presidential official.

“He will also promise to sign a new cooperation program between South Korea and NATO in the second half of this year,” the official told reporters

Under the deal, the two sides will seek to establish a “new strategic cooperative partnership” beyond the military and security field….

South Korea and NATO first entered into a partnership in 2006, and developed it further through individual agreements and revisions in 2012, 2017 and 2019.

South Korea is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) but was invited to the summit along with Japan, Australia and New Zealand as the organization’s Asia-Pacific partners. Yoon will be the first South Korean president to attend a NATO summit.

The new NATO mission in Brussels is expected to help strengthen information-sharing between the sides, allow South Korean defense firms to participate in bids for NATO defense deals….