South Korea is considering joining AUKUS and sharing advanced military technology

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Dugu-ri, Donghae-myeon, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, South Korea - October 1, 2021 : South Korean Navy Dokdo Battleship and Jangbogo submarine at Dogu Coast for 2021 Armed Forces Day

South Korea is contemplating the possibility of joining the AUKUS partnership, which involves sharing advanced military technology with the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The discussions on this matter took place during a series of meetings between South Korea and Australia’s defence and foreign ministers in Melbourne.

The AUKUS agreement was originally formed in 2021, with the United States and the United Kingdom agreeing to provide Australia with a fleet of submarines powered by U.S. nuclear technology. This alliance was created in response to China’s growing military presence in the region. AUKUS, which stands for Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, now has the potential to expand its scope of cooperation to include security technologies such as artificial intelligence, electronic warfare, and hypersonic systems under what is known as AUKUS Pillar 2.

South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik expressed his country’s interest in joining AUKUS Pillar 2 as a technology development and sharing partner. He highlighted that South Korea’s defence science and technology capabilities could significantly contribute to the peace and stability of the region. Japan is also on a similar path towards becoming a part of AUKUS Pillar 2, further expanding the technological cooperation within the alliance.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles lauded South Korea’s efforts to strengthen its relationship not only with Australia but also with Japan. This move aligns with the broader security dialogue in the region known as the Quad, which includes Australia, the United States, India, and Japan. Marles emphasized the importance of upholding the rules-based order in the region and welcomed the collaboration between Korea and Australia in achieving this goal.

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