South Korean president to attend NATO summit next week

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will travel to Washington next week for a NATO summit where he is expected to sound the alarm on Russia and North Korea's recent military cooperation, his administration announced on Friday.

Yoon's deputy national security adviser Kim Tae-hyo said NATO members and the so-called Indo-Pacific 4 — Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand — would "confirm their shared commitment to protecting the international order... in the face of the challenges" seen in both the eastern and western hemispheres.

It will be Yoon's third consecutive year attending a NATO summit.

Ahead of his visit to Washington, Yoon will stop off at the U.S. military's Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii and receive a security briefing.

"Especially with the Ukraine war going on for three years, we will reaffirm our commitment to support Ukraine's freedom and restoration of peace," Kim told reporters Friday.

"We will send a strong message regarding the military cooperation between Russia and North Korea and discuss ways to enhance cooperation among NATO allies and Indo-Pacific partners."

South Korea has grown anxious over the North's warming relations with its neighbour Russia.

North Korea is accused of breaching arms control measures by supplying weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine, and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a summit in Pyongyang last month with leader Kim Jong Un where the pair signed a mutual defence agreement.

Last week, North Korea denounced the latest joint military exercises by Seoul, Tokyo and Washington, calling it an "Asian version of NATO" and warning of "fatal consequences".

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