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Opportunities for Cooperation between Vietnam, the United States, and the Republic of Korea: A Vietnamese Perspective

Vu Le Thai Hoang and Thi Bich Ngoc Nguyen argue that the elevation of Vietnam-South Korea and US-Vietnam ties to comprehensive strategic partnerships has created new opportunities for trilateral cooperation. Historically, Vietnam has viewed trilateralism within its foreign policy principles of independence, self-reliance, diversification, and multilateralization. Vietnam not only ensures that trilateral cooperation provides tangible benefits and aligns with the shared interests of all partners but does so in a manner that maintains its strategic autonomy and does not undermine existing multilateral frameworks. Within this context, Vietnam has deepened and upgraded its relationships with advanced economies such as South Korea and the United States to gain best practices and cutting-edge technologies. A trilateral framework between Vietnam, South Korea, and the United States combines Vietnamese human and natural resources with South Korean and US advanced technologies and investment. Vu and Nguyen identify the semiconductor industry, AI technology, climate change, and maritime security as areas in which the three countries could expand cooperation to maximize each partner’s strength and potential. Trilateral cooperation in the outlined areas would not only deliver concrete results that benefit the three countries but would also support Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific region as an epicenter for growth and innovation. Vu and Nguyen recommend that Vietnam, South Korea, and the United States establish a solution-oriented mechanism focusing on development cooperation, enhancing the three countries’ collective capacity to address emerging regional and global challenges.

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