ROK and EU Crisis Management Operations as Global Security Partners (Politics / Security)
At the end of 2016, an agreement on a crisis management framework between the Republic of Korea (“Korea”) and the European (“EU”) was put into effect. This agreement established a legal foundation for Korea’s participation in the EU’s crisis management operations. This agreement expanded upon existing forms of cooperation that mainly permitted dialogue by allowing Korea and the EU to operationally cooperate in political and security matters. The EU’s crisis management operations are conducted to prevent conflicts, maintain peace, and respond to terrorism, growth in the number of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts with international effects, failed states, and organized crime. The EU’s crisis management operations are joint response activities conducted at the level of the entire EU to promote multilateralism by complying with the UN Charter and to prevent conflicts by responding with both military and non-military methods. Such operations are categorized as either military or civilian missions.
Beginning in March 2009, Korea assigned the Cheonghae Unit to serve as a member of combined naval forces to eliminate Somalian piracy. However, in February 2017 Korea and the EU began to directly cooperate militarily in crisis management when Korea sent the Cheonghae Unit to participate in the EU’s NAVFOR ATALANTA Somalia operation. Korea is a global shipping nation and about 25–30% of its goods transported via shipping passed through the seas near Somalia. As such, the security of the seas near Somalia was directly connected to Korea’s national interests and so became a primary motive for Korea to cooperate with the EU in eradicating piracy in the region.
Furthermore, Korea already had a deep understanding of the EU ATALANTA operation, which facilitated military cooperation between the two countries. In contrast, Korea and the EU are still working out how to cooperate over civilian crisis management.
However, civilian crisis management operations occur on smaller scales than military crisis management operations, so pioneering of new methods of cooperation is easier in civilian operations than military operations.
Korea’s participation in the EU’s crisis management operations is significant in terms of its ability to pursue crisis management goals that would be difficult for it to achieve alone, diversification of its international contributions, and the realization of its immediate interests. Crisis management cooperation with the EU helps Korea’s national interests by strengthening its crisis management capabilities through exchanges of experience and knowledge and by forming networks with EU experts.’
Establishing a Smart Partnership Between Korea and the EU in the Digital Age (Science Technology/ICT)
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has seen many destructive innovations occur as the result of new technologies. Korea and the EU must strengthen their cooperation over ICT standardization, cyber security, and scientific and technological research and development. Korea spends 4.2% of its GDP on research and development, but only 20% of this amount is for the development of basic technologies. Korea’s global research and development network is also weak.
The EU is currently conducting the Horizon 2020 program in order to develop critical technologies in six fields, including ICT, nanotechnology, and advanced materials. Korea has participated in the Galileo project and a 5G joint research project, but its participation in the Horizon 2020 project is relatively compared to that of similar countries due to a reliance on American and Japanese technologies, a lack of understanding of the EU’s research and development programs, language barriers, and the Horizon 2020 program’s structural limitations. The Korean government should use ICT technology as leverage for participating in research projects conducted in the EU in areas in which Korea is relatively uncompetitive, such as quantum computing, energy, and the environment. In order to make this possible, the Korean government also needs to the circumstances in which Korea can participate more in the Horizon 2020 program by signing a bilateral agreement with the EU, increasing its CFM budget, and improving its NCP system.
Furthermore, in today’s ultra-connected society, internet of things (“IoT”) security specifically and cyber security generally along with interoperability and standardization are becoming increasingly important. The EU is currently standardizing big data, cloud computing, cyber security, IoT, and 5G technologies. In order to further strengthen cyber security, the EU is developing a cyber security certification system and the strengthening of the role of the EU Agency for Network and Information Security.
Consequently, Korea and the EU must forge a smart partnership to better pursue their mutual interests in the IoT age.
Korea and the EU must put in joint efforts to research and develop new technologies and to establish standards to improve the interoperability necessary to expand the IoT. Korea and the EU must work together to establish international regulations to block the expansion of digital protectionism in the name of personal information protection and cyber security.
Challenges and tasks after the 2018 diplomatic visits to Europe
The diplomatic visits to Europe must be approached from a different angle than the visits to the Korean peninsula’s four neighbors. Europe is a significant part of the multilateral global order and a major player in addressing emerging global security issues so it has its own characteristics and interests. This essay examines the appropriateness of President Moon’s discussion topics during his 2018 tour of Europe, whether he considered the systemic characteristics of the countries he visited, whether those countries’ sensitivities and vulnerabilities were accounted for, and whether his requests for them to play various diplomatic roles were made appropriately. In this context, President Moon’s 2018 European tour resulted in both successes and exposed future challenges. First, the Korean government’s calls to establish a peaceful order on the Korean peninsula and denuclearization discussions did not achieve the expected results because the relaxation of sanctions against North Korea and CVID were related to UN resolutions. Similar to its consistency in justifying its calls for sanctions against North Korea for the crises it has caused, the Korean government must also be consistent in its justifications for relaxing and lifting sanctions in multilateral diplomatic contexts. Second, in order to gain global support for peace on the Korean peninsula, the Korean government needs a strategy for assigning appropriate roles to the other parties involved in the peace dialogue by first deciding which theoretical framework it will request and in which European language it will make the request. Europe is still participating in the dialogue by criticism, pressure, and CVID. This participation-by-criticism role was established in response to the situation on the Korean peninsula before the 4/27 summit between North Korea and South Korea, so a new strategic framework is needed to replace this outdated role. The Korean government must actively articulate this new strategy in its requests to Europe. In multilateral diplomacy, rules, regulations, and systems are established through dialogue, so Korea’s diplomatic capability will be reflected in whether it can offer a new framework for discussing the road ahead in multilateral meetings such as ASEM. Third, the Korean government must consider action plans for addressing global interests, such as climate change, sustainable economic development, and renewable energy development. These issues will be the focus of the global order in the near future, so Korea must persistently contribute to the discussion of these issues on the global stage.