From countering North Korea’s provocations to managing geopolitical tensions and economic security threats, South Korea is already expanding the scope of its cooperation to become a “global pivot state”.
This is according to the Director General for North American Affairs at the Seoul Foreign Ministry.
Lim Sung-woo told Arirang News on Thursday that the May 21 summit hosted by President Yoon Suk-yeol and his U.S. counterpart set the tone for South Korea’s values-based diplomacy.
“It was a great meeting of minds with a similar vision and similar values because I think they were able to formulate a real relationship of trust because they both have this clear conviction, like an unshakable belief in our common values, the fundamental values of freedom, democracy and human rights.”
Based on these core values, Lim said South Korea is working to expand its role as a key partner in solving a range of global issues, starting with Seoul’s trilateral ties with Washington and Tokyo.
The diplomat says the three countries share many common challenges to regional and economic security, beyond North Korea’s agenda.
Regarding the pressure on South Korea to choose between its biggest security partner, the United States, and its biggest trading partner, China,
Lim said Seoul’s relationship with the two countries is not mutually exclusive.
“Our new government has repeatedly said that we will pursue a really healthy and solid relationship with China, based on mutual respect. And we are constantly talking with our Chinese counterparts. So the main thing is that we can develop our relations with the United States. and at the same time with China.”
The chief executive said South Korea is working on its own Indo-Pacific strategy, to define and expand the scope of Seoul’s policies and promote freedom, human rights and liberal democracy.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.