South Korea and NATO Military Chiefs Discuss Cooperation Ahead of Key Meeting

Seoul, South Korea - Top military officials from South Korea and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) engaged in phone talks on Tuesday, focusing on deepening cooperation between the two entities. This discussion comes in anticipation of a significant NATO meeting scheduled for next week.

According to Yonhap News Agency, JCS Chairman Adm. Kim Myung-soo and Adm. Rob Bauer, chair of NATO's military committee, conducted the talks. The conversation centered on the upcoming two-day NATO Military Chiefs of Defense meeting in Brussels, starting next Wednesday. South Korean officials are set to attend the meeting, which will include discussions on the alliance's central challenges.

South Korea, while not a member of NATO, has been invited to this meeting alongside other Asia Pacific partner nations — Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The meeting aims to address key issues faced by the alliance.

During their conversation, both sides acknowledged the interconnectedness of security concerns in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions. They reaffirmed their opposition to any forcible changes to the status quo. Additionally, they concurred on the necessity of expanding cooperation to uphold a "rules-based international order," as stated by the JCS.

Adm. Kim Myung-soo highlighted the severe challenges to global peace and security posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, extending beyond the Korean Peninsula. He also expressed concerns over the increasing military cooperation between Pyongyang and Moscow.

JCS Vice Chairman Lt. Gen. Hwang You-sung will represent South Korea at the forthcoming NATO meeting, the JCS confirmed.

Recently, South Korea has actively sought to strengthen its ties with NATO. This endeavor was exemplified last year when President Yoon Suk Yeol committed to enhancing military information sharing with the alliance during a summit involving NATO's member states and partner nations in Vilnius.

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