South Korea keen on joining Quad, says envoy Chang Jae-bok
Chang Jae-bok, the South Korean ambassador to India, stated on Tuesday that South Korea is eager to join the Quad and that the decision to expand is now in the hands of the organization.
What is QUAD?
- The Quad is a diplomatic partnership between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) is another name for the Quad. The four nations envision a zone where all nations may work together, engage in trade, and prosper under generally accepted laws and standards. The Quad has gained in popularity recently.
- On May 20, 2023, the Quad Leaders’ Summit was held in Hiroshima. A Joint Statement and Vision Statement were released by the four Quad Leaders. The Quad science agencies are looking for opportunities for cooperative funding to promote collaborative research. The Quad Summit will be held in India in 2024.
Why is South Korea interested in joining the Quad?
- Security Issues: South Korea, like many other countries in the Indo-Pacific area, is worried about the threats to regional security. The Quad, which was established with the goal of addressing shared security problems and advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific, may offer South Korea a platform to further its security cooperation with other like-minded countries. It enables dialogue on topics including terrorism prevention, maritime security, and maintaining a stable regional order.
- Threat from North Korea: North Korea, a nation renowned for its nuclear and missile programs, borders South Korea. South Korea may see value in joining the Quad to obtain support and coordination on matters of regional security, especially North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, given the potential security repercussions of North Korea’s activities.
- Economic Interests: South Korea is a significant economic force in the area and has close economic and trade relations with all four nations, particularly with the US and Japan. By promoting stronger economic integration and collaboration, joining the Quad would improve South Korea’s economic and commercial chances.
- Counterbalancing China: China’s growing dominance in the Indo-Pacific area is something that the Quad has been viewed as attempting to counterbalance. Due to China’s importance as a trading partner for South Korea, South Korea may view participation in the Quad as a method to interact with China’s neighbours and keep a balance in its international ties.
- Diplomatic Outreach: South Korea, like many other nations, aims to widen the scope of its diplomatic engagements and alliances. South Korea’s network of strategic allies would grow as a result of joining the Quad, and chances for multilateral involvement would result.
What is the negotiations going on with India and South Korea on CEPA?
- The Comprehensive Economic Partnership deal (CEPA), a bilateral trade deal between India and South Korea, is currently being expanded through negotiations between the two nations.
- There have been eleven rounds of discussion in these negotiations, but there are still problems that need to be fixed.
- Following a bilateral meeting between the leaders of India and South Korea on the sidelines of the G-20 conference, momentum for the CEPA negotiations was created.
- This means that new conversations have been sparked by the high-level discussions.
What is CEPA history between India and Korea?
- South Korea and India have a free trade agreement in place called the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). It was ratified on August 7th, 2009, and became effective on January 1st, 2010.
- CEPA encompasses talks on investment, trade in services, and other forms of economic cooperation. It might also take into account negotiating in areas like IPR, competition, and customs cooperation for trade.
- India and Japan have both signed the CEPA. India and the Republic of Korea (ROK) held their ninth round of CEPA upgrade negotiations in Seoul on November 3–4, 2022. In order to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers and strengthen relations in the services sector, both parties committed to collaborate closely.
What is the South Korea’s view point on the New Delhi declaration?
- The envoy brought up the G-20 summit’s compromise on the Delhi Declaration’s language about Russia.
- Due to the participation of India and China, both of whom are G-20 members, and the necessity to accommodate various perspectives and priorities in multilateral forums, this compromise was thought to be required.
In conclusion, the South Korean envoy’s statement emphasizes South Korea’s interest in joining the Quad, ongoing talks to broaden the CEPA with India, worries about the business climate in India, the history of the CEPA, how the pandemic has affected talks, and the necessity of compromise in multilateral forums like the G-20.