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Amid China threats, a U.S. diplomat sees a "consequential shift" in NATO and Asian relations

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English -  A senior U.S. diplomat told Reuters that the recent attendance of four leaders from the Asia Pacific reg...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English -  A senior U.S. diplomat told Reuters that the recent attendance of four leaders from the Asia Pacific region at the NATO summit signifies a "consequential shift" in the U.S. transatlantic security alliance, which Washington intends to strengthen in order to better confront China.

Derek Chollet, a senior policy advisor to Secretary Antony Blinken at the U.S. Department of State, stated in an interview in Seoul that he believes there is "great potential" for cooperation between South Korea and NATO, building on earlier interactions like international efforts to aid Ukraine and European nations participating in RIMPAC military drills in Asia.

The strengthening ties between our transatlantic allies and our partners in the Indo-Pacific region, according to Chollet, are among the most significant changes that have occurred over the past ten years.

Yoon Suk-yeol made history last month when he became the first South Korean president to attend a NATO summit in Spain. Yoon Suk-yeol is trying to take on a wider global role and build relationships with Europe in response to North Korea's escalating nuclear threats.

It was "truly historic" and "the beginning of what could be a very close partnership" that Yoon and the leaders of Japan, Australia, and New Zealand participated, Chollet said. He also noted that NATO's recently adopted strategy concept, which for the first time mentioned China as a concern, was also "historic."

"I can still clearly remember attempting to explain the significance of the Indo Pacific to European allies a decade ago, and failing to catch their attention. That has fundamentally altered, "added he.

"Aligning with partners and allies is the cornerstone or guiding premise of our strategy to China."

Despite the tense relations between Seoul and Tokyo as a result of historical conflicts, Chollet stated optimism for improved trilateral security cooperation between the United States, South Korea, and Japan.

Although the former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's death was a "sad tragedy" and "horrific murder," he stated it would be possible to revive trilateral efforts thanks to his legacy and outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

Whether it's joint military drills or collaboration on problems like global health, there's a lot we can accomplish together, according to Chollet.

He continued, "We strongly believe that the two countries' strong ties are in our interests as well as Japan's and Korea's interests," promising to assist both parties in resolving disagreements if necessary.

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