SKorea, NATO to boost partnership on security, cyber threats
PHOTO CAPTION: U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jochen Emrich, assigned to the 189th Airlift Wing, Communications Flight, Arkansas Air National Guard, assesses real-world cyber threats, Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Dec. 5, 2021. (Air National Guard photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Porter via U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)
By Hyonhee Shin
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea and NATO will expand cooperation on global security issues including Ukraine and North Korea their leaders said on Tuesday on the sidelines of NATO's annual meeting in Lithuania, the South Korean presidential office said.
President Yoon Suk Yeol arrived in Vilnius on Monday for the summit of NATO leaders, aiming to step up security ties in the face of evolving nuclear threats from North Korea and tension over China.
Yoon said security in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions were inseparable.
"I came to institutionalise the cooperation framework by creating individually tailored partnership programmes, and to discuss cooperation on military intelligence and cyber areas," Yoon told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Stoltenberg thanked Yoon for joining condemnation of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, and said North Korea's nuclear and missile threats were an important issue that has an impact on NATO and beyond.
South Korea and NATO are expected to agree to expand cooperation in 11 areas, including non-proliferation and cybersecurity, which Stoltenberg said highlighted the significance of their ties.
Yoon, at the NATO gathering with the leaders of Japan, Australia and New Zealand, could face renewed pressure to supply arms to Ukraine, which his administration has resisted doing, wary of Russian influence over North Korea.
Media has reported that South Korea had agreed to send artillery rounds to the U.S. to be delivered to Ukraine but South Korea's defence ministry said while it was discussing ammunition exports to the U.S., the reports were inaccurate.
Stoltenberg and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy have urged South Korea to boost military support.
(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; editing by Robert Birsel)