NATO Steps Into North Korean Crisis

NATO Steps Into North Korean Crisis
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in South Korea on Wednesday to firmly place the military alliance in the middle of the current standoff with North Korea, and to sign a new "cooperation agreement" with South Korea.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is marching the alliance headlong into whatever conflict eventually emerges—be it diplomatic or military—from the current nuclear standoff with North Korea.

During a meeting Wednesday with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, he said:

"It’s a global threat. It’s a big challenge for the Republic of Korea being so close. But it’s also a challenge for the rest of the world because North Korea is now developing more longer-rang missiles able to reach both North America and Europe. This is another example that security is inter-connected and global threats require global responses.

Therefore we should look into how we can work together on global challenges" like the proliferation of nuclear weapons, terrorism and cybersecurity. The ROK is one of NATO's longest-standing partners outside Europe and with tension and challenges related to North Korea and many other issues, it's important we are able to strengthen and develop our partnerships."

Stoltenberg may have been acting on his own in an attempt to “defuse” the situation, which has been escalating again in the past several days while U.S. military officials have visited South Korea. President Donald Trump is also scheduled to arrive next week, which could further heighten tensions.

The NATO chief said he felt sanctions and diplomatic efforts were the best course of action to rein in North Korea and its dictator, Kim Jong-un.

Also, there has been a push for a number of years to develop a “Pacific version” of NATO, but Stoltenberg’s comments would suggest he would be open to expanding the current alliance. He and Kang signed a ne Partnership and Cooperation Program agreement to “broaden cooperation between South Korea and NATO” on six security fronts.

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