In 2005, then-Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon paid a visit to NATO Headquarters in Brussels and made a speech to the North Atlantic Council (NAC), the principal political decision-making body of NATO, expressing Seoul's hopes for exploring possibilities of cooperation between the Republic of Korea and NATO.
At the 2006 Riga Summit, NATO leaders pledged to increase the operational relevance of relations with interested "Contact Countries." Consequently, steps were taken to strengthen NATO's ability to work with potential contributors to NATO operations who share NATO's interests and values. Referred to as one of the "Contact Countries", Korea, along with other partners such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand, has an interest in deepening its ties with NATO.
Since the 2008 Bucharest Summit, Korea is referred to as "partners across the globe" or simply "global partners", which also include Afghanistan, Australia, Colombia, Iraq, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand and Pakistan.
In addition to that, Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, visited Korea in January 2023, to discuss common security challenges and ways to strengthen NATO’s partnership with Seoul.
Also, the Republic of Korea and NATO have held High-Level Policy Consultation meetings on a regular basis since 2008. The annual meeting has served a good avenue for both sides to share strategic concerns and to enhance mutual understanding.
Updated on 16 February 2023