With South Korea aiming to play a greater role in world affairs, beyond its own immediate security concerns caused by Pyeongyang's nuclear program, Seoul is actively involving itself in global initiatives and discussions, under the Yoon Suk-yeol administration.
We discuss South Korea's expanding realm of foreign policy, and its goal of becoming a global pivotal state to reinforce liberal democratic values in the world order.
Joining us in studio today is Stephen Wertheim, senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. An author and historian, Wertheim is one of the world's top opinion leaders of U.S. foreign policy and contemporary world issues.
1. You attended the World Emerging Security Forum in Seoul, where world government and opinion leaders discussed the biggest emerging threats to global security. You were in a panel discussion on Cybersecurity which many see as revolutionising warfare and military strategies. What were your main takeaways? What should be the general approach or posture governments have on cybersecurity?
2. How do you see South Korea's aim to play a pivotal role in world affairs, particularly through efforts such as holding discussions on global security?
3. A South Korean leader will attend a summit for NATO for the first time ever at the upcoming meeting in Madrid. Seoul also plans to establish a mission to NATO in Brussels around the same time as the summit. Already having become the first Asian country to formally join the NATO cyber defense group in early May, Seoul seems to be pulling out all the stops to support Washington and its other allies. What kind of role do you see South Korea playing as it becomes more aligned with the organisation?
4. NATO has invited four Asia-Pacific countries, South Korea, Australia, Japan and New Zealand, to the summit in Madrid. The four countries will be having their own summit on the sidelines. What significance does their attendance have, and what kind of discussions are you expecting to see, involving these four nations?
5. Geopolitically, Russian aggression is growing, China is on the rise, and the NATO alliance's future in the Middle East is uncertain. Will Mr. Biden continue pursuing foreign policy for the middle class, with the November elections ahead?
6. President Biden said he would bring the U.S. back to the head of the table in global affairs.
According to the Pew Research Center, international perception of the U.S. leader has been mostly positive. But with Americans calling his attention to domestic affairs, some have assumed he is pursuing an offshore balancing strategy. How should the U.S. lead in the Indo-Pacific, and in transatlantic affairs, in your opinion?
7. Are we seeing America's transatlantic and Indo-Pacific alliances converging?
8. Learning from what many deemed as failures of strategic patience and Moon-Trump-Kim diplomacy, what should Seoul and Washington's approach to engaging or reopening negotiations with North Korea be at this point?
9. Should South Korea get its own nuclear deterrent?
10. Seoul, Washington and Tokyo are set to hold a trilateral summit at the NATO meeting. How do you envision the next steps of their trilateral cooperation?
Stephen Wertheim, senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Thank you for your time today.