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South Korea contemplates joining the Quad

Posted November. 26, 2022 07:22,   

Updated November. 26, 2022 07:22


The U.S. has been strengthening its siege against China through multilateral security consultative bodies such as the Quad, Five Eyes, and AUKUS since the Biden administration launched in January last year.

The Quad consists of four nations: the U.S., Japan, Australia, and India. It was founded to repair and restore the aftermath of a large-scale tsunami that hit Indonesia in 2004. But it started to lean more towards keeping China in balance during the Trump administration. Five Eyes, in which five English-speaking countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, are participating, started with the UK-USA Security Agreement (UKUSA) made between the U.S. and the U.K. in 1946 to cooperate against the Communist bloc in the Cold War. They have shared confidential military information collected worldwide through a communication surveillance network called 'Echelon.'

The U.S. launched the AUKUS, a security consultative body, with the U.K. and Australia last year. The U.S. provided nuclear-powered submarine-building technology to Australia after it was founded. Recently, the country unveiled plans to deploy its B-52 strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons to Australia. It is continuing active military cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region to hold China in check.

The Yoon Suk-yeol administration, since the very beginning, has shown its will to place the Korea-U.S. alliance at the center of diplomacy, unlike the previous administration. Unlike the former Moon Jae-in administration, which maintained an ambiguous attitude toward joining the Quad because of its relations with China despite repeated requests from the U.S., President Yoon stated in his presidential election pledge that he would seek ways to “formally join the Quad in the future.” However, to minimize friction with China, it still intends to promote cooperation first in various fields, such as infrastructure construction and vaccines. China has openly criticized the U.S.-led security consultative bodies, which was seen by its Foreign Minister Wang Yi's condemnation that the U.S. “incites arms races by spreading the Cold War thinking.”

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com