by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the CHEY Institute during his visit to the Republic of Korea

  • 30 Jan. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 30 Jan. 2023 13:13

(As delivered)

Good morning.
Thank you for the introduction, Ambassador Park. And for hosting us here at the CHEY Institute for Advanced Studies.
It is a great honour to be here together with you this morning.

It is also great to be back in Seoul, and engage with all of you.

My last visit to the Republic of Korea was in 2017. And since then, your country’s partnership with NATO has grown even stronger.
For years, we have cooperated on issues ranging from counter-terrorism to counter-piracy. And going forward, we can do more together – NATO and the Republic of Korea.
Including to strengthen our effort on global arms control, address disarmament and non-proliferation, work on new technologies, enhance our cyber defences, and uphold the rules-based international order.

I welcome the fact that South Korea established a dedicated diplomatic mission to NATO last November.
And last June, I was honoured to welcome President Yoon to our NATO Summit in Madrid. It was the first time ever he and other leaders from the Indo-Pacific partners of NATO – Australia, Japan and New Zealand – participated together in a NATO summit. A real testimony to our growing ties.

We may be oceans apart, but our security is closely connected.
This has been the case for decades.

Events in this region have shaped NATO as we know it today.
The Korean War broke out just one year after the Alliance was founded in 1949. It made our members realise the need to bolster our defensive power. 
As a result of the Korean War, we transformed the North Atlantic Treaty into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Literally putting an “O” into “NATO”.
This involved creating the position of the Secretary General. Standing up a permanent military headquarters. And appointing a Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. 

So NATO’s history and our security has long been connected with yours. And today, we continue to share strategic interests and concerns.

The threat posed by North Korea is one of them.

North Korea continues its pattern of provocative and destabilising behaviour, including unprecedented missile tests over the past year, as well as continued nuclear activity and rhetoric.
All in contravention of UN Security Council Resolutions. 
This poses a clear and present danger to the Republic of Korea, to the wider region, and to international peace and security.
We stand with our partners in calling on Pyongyang to stop its provocations, and comply fully with international law.

North Korea has also delivered rockets and missiles to the Russian Wagner Group. Further fuelling Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

President Putin launched his war almost one year ago. To take control of the country and take away people’s freedom.
In response, NATO and NATO Allies and our partners around the world, including South Korea, have condemned this illegal and unjustifiable war. And we have been providing Ukraine unprecedented assistance.
Our support is making a real difference for the Ukrainians. Helping them not only to survive, but also to push back the Russian invader, and liberate their territory.
We must keep supporting Ukraine, for as long as it takes. Because if President Putin wins, the message to him and other authoritarian leaders will be that they can get what they want through the use of force.
This would make the world more dangerous, and us more vulnerable.

So what happens in Europe matters to the Indo-Pacific. And what happens here in Asia matters to NATO.
Our security is connected.
So we must remain united and firm, insist on full respect for the UN Charter, and ensure oppression and tyranny do not prevail over freedom and democracy.

You can count on NATO to stand with the Republic of Korea, and other like-minded partners to promote peace, protect our shared security, and preserve a global system based on norms and values.

Thank you and then I am ready to engage in a conversation with you.
Thank you so much.

Unknown: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary General. We will now proceed to the Q&A session. This session will be moderated by Professor Jae-Sung Lee, Jean Monnet Chair in the College of International Studies, and former Dean of Graduate School of International Studies at Korea University.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: Right, thank you very much Secretary General Stoltenberg. It’s a wonderful speech to address our common challenges and the key path for the future. And once again, thanks for this exchange and this event co-organised by KU-Jean Monnet Centre. Now, I will begin the Q&A session conversation with the Secretary General. And today many students and experts kindly attend this event. To facilitate the Q&A session, I have received a good number of questions in advance via online. So I will start with those questions and then I will open the floor for more inquiries. The biggest inquiry from the Korean side, but probably from all over the world, is when will the Russia-Ukrainian war end. But let me put it this way: under which condition this war can be ended? And is there a chance for a ceasefire or a peace agreement this year?

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: No one can tell today when the war will end. But what we do know is that this is a war of aggression, this is actually a war of choice by President Putin. He decided to invade another country, a sovereign democratic state in Europe. And President Putin can end the war today. But the challenge is that we don't see any signs that President Putin and rules in Moscow are preparing for peace. We see the opposite. We see that they are preparing for more war, that they are mobilizing more soldiers, more than 200,000, and potentially even more than that. That they are actively acquiring new weapons, more ammunition, ramping up their own production, but also acquiring more weapons from other authoritarian states like Iran and North Korea. And most of all, we have seen no sign that President Putin has changed his overall goal of this invasion that is to control a neighbour, to control Ukraine. So as long as this is the case, we need to be prepared for long haul. Because everyone who believes in democracy, in the rules-based international order, for us, it is extremely important that President Putin doesn't win this war. Partly because it will be a tragedy for the Ukrainians, but it will also be dangerous for all of us. It will make the world more dangerous. Because then the message to authoritarian leaders, also in this part of the world, also in Beijing, will be that use of force is the way to get what you want. And that will make the world more dangerous and us more vulnerable. So therefore it is so important that we continue to support Ukraine. I welcome the support from NATO Allies, from partners, and also from the Republic of Korea, and we need to be prepared. Let me add one more thing on this and that is that not all wars, but many wars end at the negotiating table. And most likely also this war will, at some stage, end at the negotiating table. But what we do know it that what happens around that table is inextricably linked to and totally dependent on the situation on the battlefield. So if we really want Ukraine to prevail as a sovereign, independent nation in Europe, then we need to support them now. Military support today makes it possible to reach a peace agreement tomorrow. But as long as President Putin believes he can win on the battlefield, he will not sit down and engage in good faith. So the paradox is that actually military support to Ukraine is the best way to achieve a peaceful negotiated solution in the war, or for the war.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: So even though we may not predict the exact date of ending the war, we have a clear way to go to support Ukraine and to end the war. Our next question is about the new Cold War. We are witnessing a crisis of post-cold war peace structure in Europe. At the same time, US-China competition is getting escalated to Taiwan. The tension in the Taiwan Strait is growing. So do you agree with the term “New Cold War” to describe the current global geopolitics?

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: I don't use that term. For many reasons. Partly because during the Cold War, we had two blocs confronting each other. In Europe, there was the Warsaw Pact and NATO. And we had a hundred of thousands troops standing on each side of that Iron Curtain, over that border between East and West. We had also two kinds of political ideologies in the West and then in the Soviet Union kind of communist part of Europe. Now we have a full-fledged war going on in Europe and we have different types of confrontation. Also because what we see now is also how Russia and China are coming closer and closer. We don't regard China as an adversary but of course we are concerned when we see that Russia and China are operating more together. They are training more together, patrolling together. We see naval patrols, air patrols also around Taiwan, in the Asia-Pacific. Just days before the invasion of Ukraine, President Putin went to Beijing and signed an agreement, where President Xi and President Putin promised each other cooperation and partnership without any limits – a limitless partnership -. So, for different reasons, I don't use the word the “Cold War”. But the challenge is that we are not in what we hoped for after the end of the Cold War. Because after the end of the Cold War, we hoped for a world where we actually saw democracy, the rule of law spreading first of all throughout Europe and then also more globally. What we see now is that democracy and freedom is under pressure and we see autocracy and tyranny is actually pushing and trying to get more control also of other countries, as we see for instance in Ukraine.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: Alright, so let's move to the China issue. Well, how does NATO perceive China as a threat? Is there a specific strategy of NATO to deal with the rise of Chinese military capability in recent years? I think we have to understand that.


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: I think we need to understand that for decades, China was not on NATO's agenda at all. NATO was established as a response to the threats we saw from the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet Union after the Second World War. And that was our main, that was the main focus. That was what NATO did for 40 years from 1949 to 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, After that, of course, we were less focused on the Soviet Union because the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact was dissolved. But then we helped to end ethnic wars in Europe in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And, Kosovo and Serbia, and after 9/11, we were very focused on the fight against terrorism. It is has only been recently that NATO has started also to address the challenges we see coming from China. And until our summit last summer in Madrid in July last year. China was not mentioned with a single word in NATO's Strategic Concept, and NATO Strategic Concept is our main document guiding the Alliance. So now we have, now we are addressing China in our Strategic Concept, but that happened actually, as late as last summer. We don’t regard … We have come a long way when it comes to China. We believe that we should engage with China on issues like arms control, climate change and other issues but at the same time we are also very clear that China poses a challenge to our values, to our interests and to our security. And there are many reasons for that. Partly, because China doesn’t share our values. China and the rulers in Beijing, they don’t believe in democracy, freedom of speech, our democratic values. We have seen that in the way they are cracking down on democratic rights in Hong Kong, how they oppress minorities in their own country. But China is also a challenge because we see China is investing heavily in new modern military capabilities, including new long range missiles that can reach all NATO territory. Of course, also this region. Advanced nuclear weapons, naval capabilities. And NATO as an Alliance will remain an Alliance of North America and Europe. But North America and Europe, the threats and the challenges we face, they are more and more global. That has been the case for many years. Terrorism is a global threat. Cyber is a global threat. Space is more and more relevant for our security.

And of course then China, with its rising capabilities, with its coercive behaviour not  least in the South-China sea and lack of respect for the values that we believe in, is an increasing challenge to our values, our security, to our interests. And that makes the partnership with countries like the Republic of Korea, countries that believe in democracy, even more important. Because our security is interconnected – the closer partnership between Russia and China demonstrates that. The fact that Russia is also reaching out to North Korea to get support for the war in Ukraine, is another example.

So, now China is much higher on the NATO agenda, and also for one other reason, that is that China is in many ways coming closer to NATO. We see them in cyberspace, we see what they are developing when it comes to space capabilities, satellites, everything, which are vital for communications on Earth. And then also China trying to control critical infrastructure, for instance 5G networks. So, all of this together, the lack of shared values, the coercive behaviour in the South-China sea and in this region, the significant military build-up with long range weapons, and the fact that China is working more and more closely with Russia, for instance, not being able to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, all of this together has made China something that features much higher on the NATO agenda and matters for our security in a way it did not do before.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: Certainly. In Korea, there are concerns, that the strength of the new partnership with NATO will lead to conflict with China and China’s possible economic coercion in retaliation. What’s your opinion in this matter?

NATO Secretary General: Well, again, as we don't regard China as an adversary, and NATO Allies are trading with China, and no one is arguing in favour of not having economic relationships with China. But at the same time, I think also, we need to realise that if we become too dependent on authoritarian powers, we make ourselves vulnerable. And again, for me, I can use an example from Europe. Not so long time ago, many European countries said that, to buy natural gas from Russia was purely a commercial issue. So it was if it was commercial, we should do it. If we can make profit, we should do it. But we have learned is that or what we are seeing is that too be depend on energy from an authoritarian power, like Russia, is a political issue, because Russia decided to weaponise energy exports, which has led to extreme high prices and an energy crisis in Europe. So now, no one says that to buy gas from Russia is a commercial issue, we should only do it. As long as it is profitable, we can earn money.  

Everyone understands that commercial decisions, they may have huge security consequences. So therefore we need to take them into account. That doesn't [mean], we should have not trade with authoritarian regimes. But we should not make the same mistake as mean all of us, the Republic of Korea, Europe, North America, we should not make the same mistake that many Allies are made when it comes to energy dependency from Russia, we should not make the same mistake when it comes to China, meaning to be to depend on specific commodities, specific raw materials, rare earth minerals, for instance, make us vulnerable.

If we start to export advanced technologies that China or Russia later on can use to threaten us, then we make ourselves vulnerable, and finally, if we allow China to control critical infrastructure, we become vulnerable.
So this is a balance and it's not easy to say exactly where that balance goes. But to just think as we can have free trade economic relations as if this has no consequences of security. That is wrong. I'm in favour of free trade, I believe in free trade, too, as a way to promote prosperity, but about free trade cannot be more important than freedom. And free trade cannot be more important than our security. And for me the example of 5G or gas dependence on oil from Russia, are two quite telling examples of how we have to also take to take security interest into concern when we make economic decisions.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: Okay, now, let's move closer to the Korean side. You have mentioned the importance of supporting the Ukrainian military capability to fight against Russia. Then what role which role can South Korean weaponry in helping arm Ukraine in their war against Russia? Do you have any specific expectation?

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: So first of all, I would like to thank the Republic of Korea or South Korea for the support you are providing to Ukraine, economic support, humanitarian support.
That is something which is highly valued. And of course that comes on top of the support that NATO Allies and partners are providing, both military and economic support. And I urge the Republic of Korea to continue and to step up. On the specific issue of military support, I would say that's at the end of the day, a decision for you to make.

But I will say that several NATO Allies, who had as a policy never to export weapons to countries in conflict have changed that policy now. Germany, Sweden, which is not a NATO Ally, but a close NATO partner, my our own country, Norway. We had as a stated, long standing policy, as many other NATO Allies, not to export weapons from Norway, or from Germany, or from Sweden and other NATO Allies, to countries in conflict. After the brutal invasion of Ukraine, these countries changed their policy. Because they realised that when you are faced with a brutal invasion, where a big power – Russia – invades another one, in a blatant way, as we have seen in, in Ukraine, if we really believe, if you believe in freedom, if you believe in democracy, if you don't want autocracy and tyranny to win, then they need weapons. That's the reality. Because we tried before the invasion – NATO tried, by diplomatic means, by political means, to really prevent this invasion, prevent the war, because as you may remember, this war didn't come as a surprise.

This is a war that happened after we have warned against it for months. The invasion by Russia of Ukraine is part of a pattern. We have seen the brutality in Grozny, we have seen the invasion of Georgia in 2008, we have seen the bombing of Aleppo, and that the war in Ukraine didn't start in February last year, it started actually in 2014. So it's part of a pattern. But when the full-fledged invasion happened February last year, then many countries changed their policy, because they realized that the only way to stand up for democracy to help Ukraine prevail and to create the conditions for a lasting peace was to deliver military support. So again, I'll be careful giving too much specific advice. But I will just say that there is an urgent need for more ammunition, more weapons to Ukraine, if they don't get that they will not able to resist and repel the Russian invaders under Russian aggression.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: Well, the NATO was originally established to cover the security in the northern Atlantic region, then what makes the partnership with NATO attractive to South Korea? And the related question I received is that if a security contingency happens in the Korean Peninsula, what kind of response we can expect from the NATO side? What NATO can do for the peace building on the Korean Peninsula in times of contingency?

NATO Secretary General: So you're right, that we were established to address the threat from the Soviet Union in the 50s and the 60s, or what we saw just after the end of the Second World War. But as I said, the world has fundamentally changed since then. So we face common threats and challenges. One area where I welcome that we see cooperation between the Republic of Korea and NATO is for instance, cyber, and we face threats and challenges in cyberspace, where we can learn from each other, we can share best practices. And Republic of Korea is part of our Centre of Excellence on cybersecurity in Tallinn as a NATO Centre and also participates in our cyber coalition exercise which is the world's biggest exercise on cybersecurity and cyber defence. So that's just one example of how we can work together for mutual benefit for Korea and for NATO. Technology is another, disarmament arms control is a third area where there is absolute potential for doing more together. I think I will be very careful about speculating about hypothetical situations, but the message to Kim Jong Un in North Korea is that they're threatening rhetoric, but also a reckless program they have when it comes to missile programs and nuclear programs, is dangerous. It's dangerous for the Republic of Korea, it's dangerous for the region. And it's also a threat to international peace and security. And therefore, NATO allies have, first and foremost, of course, been very strong on calling on North Korea to follow and abide by all this UN Security Council resolutions, impose the sanctions on North Korea. And then I think I should be careful speculating about exactly what will happen if you have an incident in this region.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: Thank you. In the Madrid NATO Summit last year, the gathering of NATO plus Asia Pacific, four countries, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand received a lot of attention as you have mentioned in your remark. And is there a possibility to institutionalize this partnership? And what does NATO expect the Asian partners to work with in this framework, NATO plus AP [Asia-Pacific].

NATO Secretary General: First of all, we have in one way [inaudible], this kind of formal framework, because we have a partnership agreements with the Republic of Korea, with Japan. I'm going there, actually tonight, with Australia and New Zealand. And we also then often meet in that framework at NATO. But for me, it's also important to communicate that, of course, the partnership with all four of them is important, but also the individual partnership and the individual partnership with Republic of Korea, with Japan and so on, they have value in themselves. And of course, we do different things with different partners. But there are some areas where I think obviously we can work together, like cyber, like technology, like arms control, but also I think on maritime issues, there's a potential, but I think the most important thing, is that just the fact that countries that believe in democracy, in the rule of law and the rules based international order, it is extremely important that we stand together. And when we see that authoritarian regimes are coming closer, working closer together in the political, in the diplomatic domain, but also in the military domain, it is even more important that we stand together as countries believing in the rules based international order. So the political dimension, on top of the practical cooperation, I think it's of great importance, then, of course, we have the cooperation between NATO as the institution and the Republic of Korea and the other Indo Pacific partners. But then, of course, individual partners, not least the United States, also have their bilateral cooperation in many areas, including the military presence there. And of course, then the NATO cooperation adds to that, and our provides a more multinational framework to also the different bilateral engagements we have between NATO allies and the Republic of Korea.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: So not just security and political alliances, but also the value of alliances.

NATO Secretary General: Absolutely, this is about security, but security is also about values, because it's about protecting those values. And we see that authoritarian powers are now more on the offense than we have seen for many years. And they are standing close together. And therefore, it's even more important that we believe in democracy, freedom, stand together.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: I actually have one interesting question, but very crucial question from the high school students. [inaudible] a high school student also in today's session, what will be the feature of NATO after the Ukrainian war, to which direction NATO will evolve in the future? So we are talking about at some point in the future.

NATO Secretary General: So I'm a bit careful on answering that question, because the success of NATO is that we have always been able to change as the world is changing. So, the most important thing is to continue to be adaptable to continue to change, when we see new challenges and new crisis. So my main answer is in a way that the best thing that NATO can do is to realize that to continue to be the strongest and most successful alliance in history, we need to make sure that we are able to achieve two things, maintain our unity, NATO, we are 30 allies, soon to become 32 allies with Finland and Sweden. We are different, of course, different views on some things, we do not always agree. But we are always able to unite around our core tasks to protect and defend each other, so after the Ukrainian war, the number one thing we need to deliver, is to deliver continued unity across the alliance. The other thing we need to continue to deliver is that we are adapting, I say that because for 40 years, NATO did one thing and that was to deter the Soviet Union. And then the Cold War ended, the Berlin Wall came down, and people actually asked whether we needed NATO because since NATO had one purpose and that was to deter the Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact and suddenly the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union didn't exist anymore then questions were asked whether we needed NATO. And the same was said either NATO has to go out of area, meaning go out of NATO territory, or out of business. And what we did was to go out of area, meaning we helped to end the ethnic wars in the Balkans. And that was first time ever NATO also engaged in anything beyond NATO territory. So that's my general answer, if I should be a bit more specific. I think that, of course, what we see now is more big power competition, we see that China is becoming more important for us, our security, we see that technology becomes more and more important for our security, artificial intelligence, autonomous weapon systems, applied or used in military systems, of course, opens up totally new challenges when it comes to what kind of threats we are faced with in the future. So therefore, to maintain our technological edge, to be on the forefront when it comes to technology has always been important. But if anything, I think it becomes even more important now with all the new disruptive technologies we see also used in the military domain.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: Excellent. So well, NATO will evolve, with not just the security situation, but the technologies and new forms of international affairs. Right, so I still have a few more questions, but I would like to open the floor for more questions, please raise your hand and please identify yourself when you make a question. And I kindly ask you to make one question at a time and please be brief. Now the floor is open. Okay. Why don't I go to the lady with white colour?

Question: Oh, hello, my name is Lily Ha and I'm a PhD student at Korean University. I would like to say thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us. And my question is about the possibility of adopting NATO's nuclear sharing program in South Korea and northeast Asia. As missile and nuclear threat from North Korea became more visible, many South Koreans and began to argue for a more institutionalized nuclear deterrence framework in this region. Or deploy the US nuclear capability in South Korea can strengthen the credibility of US extended deterrence. So I would like to ask your opinions about the optimal nuclear deterrence program in northeast Asia, especially in South Korea. Thank you.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: Well, first of all, I think it's important to understand that what we call extended deterrence, meaning that NATO allies, but also some NATO partners, like for instance, South Korea, they don't have their own nuclear weapons, but they're covered by the nuclear deterrence that the United States provides. That is a way to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons. And it's absolutely also in line with the Non Proliferation Treaty. I say that because our nuclear sharing arrangements that we have in NATO is a way to institutionalize the extended nuclear deterrence that the United States provides. Let me also start by saying that NATO's goal is a world without nuclear weapons. Because we actually believe that if it's possible to reach a status, where we have a world without nuclear weapons, that will be a safer world than a  world with nuclear weapons. At the same time, and that is extremely important, as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear Alliance.  Meaning that we don't believe that a world where NATO and NATO allies, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, that are the three NATO are allies with nuclear weapons, that if we get rid of our nuclear weapons, and countries like Russia, or China and North Korea, keep theirs, that will not be a safer world, that will be a more dangerous world. So we think that as long as nuclear weapons exist, and especially as long as we  see that authoritarian powers are having them and actually investing heavily in modernizing them, as we see and not least China is doing and increasing the number of nuclear weapons and range and also we see what North Korea North Korea is doing, then nuclear deterrence still has an extremely important task to fulfil. Exactly how that extended nuclear deterrence is organized between the United States and the Republic of Korea, I'll be careful to give any advice. I think that's in a way a bilateral issue between the Republic of Korea and the United States. What I can say is that the way we have done it in Europe is that there are also American nuclear devices or bombs, which are then where we have European allies, providing the platforms, the capabilities, the planes, to deliver them and where we have agreed doctrines and tested doctrines and a way to deliver this deterrence to get there as a shared thing, but where the nuclear weapons are owned by the United States, but some of the delivery systems and so on are delivered by all the NATO allies. And that is a way that has worked well in Europe for decades, and is in full compliance with the NPT Treaty.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: Right. So, and the second question. May I go for this side? And maybe the lady on the second row? Okay.

Question: Okay. Thank you for the great speech for your, for this morning. And I'm from Korea National Diplomatic Academy. Actually, I'm teaching on the European security and foreign relations to future diplomats. You and also, I have worked on the NATO's Strategic Concept, the previous one and the last one as well, last year's one as well.  You answered my possible questions on a lot of policies of NATO's. I will go forward a little bit personal level, your family, I understand has served your country, not just you, but many of your family members have served your country and the world peace in many ways. And I really respect that. And I think all these young people behind me also would respect and appreciate that effort. The reason I think these young people are behind us, listening carefully for your ideas is one to also learn from your experiences, and how what it means for serve the country and also the world peace in different situations, as you mentioned, the different allies in sometimes many disputes. So could you tell us a little bit about that?

NATO Secretary General  Jens Stoltenberg: Yes, what to say about that. You know, for me, it has just (inaudible) and also for my family members. My father was Foreign Minister and Defence Minister for many years. And then my mother was State Secretary, working with both family policies, but also industrial policies in Norway for many years. And then my wife is a diplomat. So I think when you refer to my family, I think that's what you're referring to. And I can only speak for myself and that is that, for me, it has just fallen very natural to serve in the Norwegian government for many years, and then later on for the UN. And now for NATO. It has been a great privilege, it has given me the opportunity to work with extremely meaningful things. I'm not a professional diplomat, I'm a politician. So I joined a political party in Norway, and I was elected to the parliament and I spent my whole life until I was in the 50s in Norwegian politics. But that's also a way to serve. And we need politicians in democracies, there is no way we can have a thriving and strong democracy without people being engaged. And I strongly believe that to be engaged in political work, either in political parties or in political organizations, first of all, that's extremely important, because that's part of the social fabric democratic countries need. And, and second, it's a very good school, as I have learned an enormous lot from my political work. And then I've also had the privilege of working with great people and having meaningful tasks as  politician and now as the Secretary General of NATO. So I don't know what more advice I can give you. It's always good to study. That's good advice. And to try to finish what you study. Because it's not always so easy to finish. But that's my best advice.

Professor Jae-Sung Lee: All right. Well, the value of conversation is actually we can have a lot of frank discussions, but very regrettably, we have a limited time, we’re close, heading toward the deadline. So I have to wrap up the Q&A session here. And so sorry for the audience,  you still have a lot of inquiries, but we will find another way to fill up that inquiries. And last but not least, a Korean diplomat on behalf of the Republic of Korea, Ambassador Yoon Soongu, the Korean ambassador to Belgium, European Union and NATO kindly accompanied the Secretary General's visit. So please give a warm round of applause to Ambassador Yoon Soongu.

We do appreciate your effort and contribution to enhance our mutual partnership. So and once again, I appreciate Secretary General Stoltenberg's kind answers, your insight and encouragement for our future partnership. And we will surely build a strong alliance to cope with the global crisis. So ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm round of applause to Secretary General Stoltenberg.

And I also thank the leadership and the steps that CHEY Institute and KU-Jean Monnet Centre, and Korea University for organizing this wonderful event. And lastly, I thank the audience for great questions and warm attention. So thank you very much.