South Korea’s National Intelligence Service announced this week that the country became the first Asian nation to be admitted to NATO’s cyber defense center. In this regard, Chinese analysts in the military field maintain that the step is a cause for concern for China, which sees it as the expansion of the Alliance to Asia, pick up South China Morning Post.
Yue Gang, a retired Chinese People’s Liberation Army colonel, believes that Beijing is “certainly not happy” about Seoul’s admission to NATO service.
At the same time, military analyst Ni Lexiong indicated that Seoul admission “definitely not in China’s interest”.
The expert maintains that the South Korean authorities would not harm their relations with military giants that are their neighbors in the region, but, at the same time, they need to strengthen their defense capabilities, particularly in the context of North Korea’s military activities. In his opinion, the fact may also be worrying for China because, taking into account this collaboration of South Korea with NATO, Beijing would have to support Pyongyang in the event of a conflict between the two countries on the Korean peninsula.
South Korea needs to work with China
According to Lee Young-hak, a researcher at the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis (Seoul), South Korea’s main security objective is to weaken the threat from “North Korea’s nuclear missiles.” “To do so, South Korea not only needs to ally with the US, it also needs to work with China,” he stressed.
In this regard, Ni said that Seoul has a “narrow space” to carry out maneuvers, adding that “it cannot jump from one extreme to the other.” “You have to trust the US, but also be aware that you can’t get too close because China, a giant country, is your neighbor,” he said.
Meanwhile, military expert Song Zhongping said told the Global Times that “South Korea’s security can be guaranteed only when [la nación] build mutual trust with neighboring countries, instead of becoming NATO’s political and military henchman“.
- South Korea formally entered the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) with the purpose of representing its country in research and training activities
- With the incorporation of South Korea into the CCDCOE, the number of members increased to 32: including 27 of the 30 member states of NATO, designated as ‘sponsoring nations’, and five countries as ‘contributing participants’
- According to the CCDCOE, the organization’s mission is to support both member countries and NATO itself “with unique interdisciplinary expertise in the field of cyber defense research, training and exercises covering the areas of focus of technology, strategy, operations and laws”