South Korea Discusses Joining The AUKUS Pact With US, UK, And Australia

South Korea Discusses Joining The AUKUS Pact With US, UK, And Australia

South Korea is in discussions to join part of the AUKUS defence deal, according to Defence Minister Shin Won-sik. AUKUS, which was founded in 2021, seeks to challenge China’s dominance in the Asia Pacific. While the first stage focuses on providing Australia with nuclear submarine technology, the three countries—the United States, Britain, and Australia—have hinted at a second stage, “Pillar 2,” to exchange more military technologies, which South Korea may contribute to.

During a meeting in Melbourne, Shin expressed South Korea’s desire to join Pillar 2, emphasising its defensive capabilities and technological superiority. The decision is consistent with South Korea’s close ties with the United States and its advanced defence sector. This is consistent with predictions that South Korea, along with Canada, New Zealand, and Japan, might be prospective partners in Pillar 2.

Defence Minister Richard Marles emphasised common ideals and technology capabilities, pointing out possible prospects for South Korea as Pillar 2 evolves. However, China has criticised the agreement, warning that expanding it could destabilise the area.

Additionally, obstacles exist due to severe US limitations on sharing military technology. However, the U.S. State Department has unveiled plans to ease these restrictions, aiming to facilitate technology transfers to Britain and Australia.