In 2023, our government has heightened its collaboration with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an alliance that shares core values such as freedom, human rights, and the rule of law. The aim is to safeguard a norm-based international order.
President Yoon Suk-yeol made history by being the first South Korean president to attend the NATO summit for two consecutive years. The summit, held in Vilnius, Lithuania, from July 11 to 12, took place against the backdrop of the prolonged conflict in Ukraine.
During the NATO summit, President Yoon underscored the significance of nations with shared values strengthening solidarity and cooperation to effectively address the challenges of our complex era.
President Yoon also made commitments to bolster cooperation with NATO in supporting Ukraine. This includes expanding contributions to NATO's Ukraine Trust Fund for non-lethal military assistance and increasing humanitarian aid to contribute to the peaceful recovery of the country.
Moreover, the summit provided an opportunity to formalize and systematize cooperation between South Korea and NATO through the signing of the Individual Tailored Partnership Program (ITPP). This marks a departure from the previous cooperation document, the Individual Partnership Cooperation Program (IPCP).
Unlike the IPCP, the ITPP outlines common strategic goals between South Korea and NATO to strengthen the norm-based international order. It expands cooperation areas to 11, including emerging technologies, climate change, and security.
The joint statement of the NATO summit, for the first time in five years, included content condemning North Korea's nuclear missile program. This confirms NATO's strong and unified stance on the North Korean issue. South Korea and NATO pledged to closely coordinate in the future for the complete denuclearization of North Korea.
Looking ahead, our government plans to enhance substantial cooperation with NATO based on the implementation of the ITPP. This commitment extends to the 75th anniversary year of NATO's establishment in 2024, contributing to the realization of the global pivotal role of a country that promotes freedom, peace, and prosperity in the world.