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KEI Spotlight

The Need for Deepening US-Korea-EU Economic Cooperation

January 27, 2023

This article was published on The Diplomat on October 31, 2022.

Earlier this year, President Yoon Suk-yeol became the first South Korean president to attend a NATO summit. His visit signaled the prospect of deepening security cooperation between South Korea and Europe, something that has been furthered with the recent acceptance of a South Korean Mission to NATO. While South Korea’s security cooperation with Europe is bringing two of the United States’ most important security partners closer together, all three would benefit from expanded trilateral economic cooperation.

The desire for deepening cooperation between NATO and South Korea is driven – as NATO has put it – by the need to cooperate with out of region partners to address “cross-regional challenges and shared security interests.” However, the same challenges– whether Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or China’s growing assertiveness – that are generating the need for cross-regional security cooperation are also creating a need for cross-regional cooperation on issue related to energy and technology. Meanwhile, broader economic trends such as digitalization and scientific innovation in biotech and nanotechnology, as well as climate change, require similar levels of cross-regional cooperation.

These issues are not neatly regionally bound, but rather require cooperation with extraregional partners. Washington, Seoul, and Brussels would be wise to develop mechanisms that bring together the best partners for cooperation on set issues rather than stick to a traditional regional focus for cooperation.

To read the full article on The Diplomat, please click here.