South Korea is determined to pick a side? Taking the initiative in joining a major NATO organization

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South Korea
South Korea has joined the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence, or CCDCOE. (Source: Twitter)

Jakarta, IO – South Korea and Japan have long been the most “reliable” US allies in the Asia-Pacific area. Despite the fact that they are both “bridgeheads” for the United States in the Pacific Ocean, the United States appears to prioritize Japan above South Korea. However, South Korea’s move a few days earlier appears to be gaining more favor from the US in the “battle for favor.” 

South Korea just joined NATO’s cyber defense organization, known as Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), becoming the organization’s first Asian member, according to the Global Times. The CCDCOE’s mission is to assist NATO in cyber defense research, training, and exercises focusing on technology, strategy, operations, and law. 

It was founded in 2008 at the initiative of Estonia, in reaction to suspected Russian cyberattacks on Estonian banks, government buildings, and media outlets in 2007, after the removal of a Soviet-era World War II memorial and war graves. South Korea has been attempting to join the CCDCOE since 2019, wanting to learn more about threat response methods and ways to defend critical infrastructure, with the overarching goal of having world-class response capabilities to those threats. 

Although South Korea is not a member of NATO, four of the organization’s 32 member nations are not NATO allies, including the three Nordic countries that have always had “eyes-on” with NATO, and even Switzerland, which claims “permanent neutrality.”