NATO experts underline importance of partnership at Seoul Defense Dialogue

NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges David van Weel stressed the importance of closer cooperation with NATO’s partners in his intervention at the Seoul Defense Dialogue on Thursday (8 September 2022).

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Speaking at a plenary session on hybrid warfare, he said: “Partnerships are crucial to protect the global commons, enhance our resilience and uphold the rules-based international order. NATO is committed to strengthening the ties with partners that share the Alliance’s values and interests.” He further emphasised the importance of the Indo-Pacific for NATO, given that developments in the region have the potential to directly affect Euro-Atlantic security.

Mr van Weel was joined by the Deputy Head of NATO’s Arms Control, Disarmament and WMD Non-Proliferation Centre, Eirini Lemos-Maniati. At a panel session on denuclearisation, she called on nations to reinforce and recommit to existing global arms control and non-proliferation regimes, saying that NATO is “working closely with our partners to address proliferation challenges, arms control and defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.” Ms Lemos-Maniati further stressed NATO’s full support of the goal of the complete and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Earlier in the week, the two NATO officials also held a range of meetings with senior defence and foreign affairs officials from the Republic of Korea, focused on the challenges and opportunities posed by new and disruptive technologies and on strengthening our partnership to address chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risks. Discussions also covered cyber defence and climate change. NATO is increasing its cooperation with Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea, who participated for the first time together in a NATO Summit in Madrid in June 2022.

Bringing together dozens of senior officials and regional experts from across the world, the conference aims to uphold multilateral security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula. This year’s event comes as North Korea continues to engage in provocative and dangerous behaviour in the region, including missile tests. Meanwhile, China is expanding its nuclear arsenal, stepping up military cooperation with Russia, and taking an increasingly assertive approach in the South China Sea and around Taiwan.

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