Korea, NATO Agree to Elevate Bilateral Relations
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Korea, NATO Agree to Elevate Bilateral Relations
President Yoon attends NATO summit, makes state visit to Poland and visits Ukraine, marking diplomatic achievements

29(Sat), Jul, 2023

(from left) Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher John Hipkins and Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol pose during the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 12.

President Yoon Suk-yeol returned from an eight-day trip to Europe in which he attended a NATO summit, made a state visit to Poland and visited Ukraine. 

President Yoon was invited to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he agreed to upgrade bilateral relationships. 

President Yoon convened a National Security Council meeting abroad, a measure designed to counter North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile during the trip. 

President Yoon held a summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss pending issues, including the release of radwaste water into the sea on the sidelines of the NATO summit before he made a state visit to Poland. 

President Yoon received red carpet treatment from Polish President Andrzej Duda. 

The heads of the two countries declared a comprehensive partnership, in which they agreed to upgrade their relationship to the highest-level in areas ranging from nuclear power to national defense and the reconstruction of the war-torn Ukraine.

President Yoon Suk-yeol shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky following talks in Kyiv on July 15. (Photos on the courtesy of Yonhap News Agency)

President Yoon made a quick visit to Ukraine, still at war with Russia, before heading home.
President promised the expansion of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and shared a consensus on the details of the reconstruction of the war-torn country during his summit talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

President Yoon attended the NATO Summit and adopted the Individually Tailored Partnership Program (ITPP), elevating the bilateral relationship from the Individual Partnership Cooperation Program (IPCP) established in 2012 during his talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on July 11.

The ITPP specifies 11 sectors of cooperation between Korea and NATO like dialogue and consultation, cooperation in anti-terrorism efforts, disarmament and nonproliferation, emerging technologies, cybersecurity and public diplomacy.

President Yoon held summit talks with leaders of seven NATO member countries and bilateral talks to discuss practical ways of promoting cooperation on the sidelines of the NATO Summit. 

President Yoon met with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher John Hipkins, Hungarian President Viktor Orbán, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in that order. 

President Yoon took up ways of promoting cooperation in areas, such as renewable energies, defense industry and research on the Artic with his summit talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

President Yoon, on a state visit to Poland, participated in the Korean-Polish Business Forum and evaluated outcomes of bilateral cooperation of the two countries and suggested new ways of promoting cooperation for the future. 

President Yoon said Korean-Polish economic cooperation was at a watershed, as Korea exported a record-amount of defense capabilities to Poland last year, and bilateral trade has been on a steep rise. 

The president said the two countries need to expand cooperation not only to advanced industries, such as aerospace, smart factory, and eco-friendly energy but also defense industry and infrastructure, as Korea battery, raw materials and parts companies have built Europe’s biggest battery ecosystem. 

President Yoon called for Korea and Poland to join forces to restructure Poland following the end of the war. 

The forum was attended by about Korean and Polish government and business leaders, including members of a Korean economic delegation who accompanied President Yoon. 

Companies of both countries agreed to move forward together for the future. 

They struck a combined 22 MOUs on cooperation - 11 deals in advanced industries like batteries and future cars; 13 agreements on nuclear power, hydrogen and eco-friendly energy; and nine deals in service areas, such as financing and tourism. 

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