Borderless Security Crises and Multilateral Responses

Special Dialogue

The 10th Anniversary of Seoul Defense Dialogue: Achievements and Prospects of Multilateral Cooperation

Northeast Asia has been in the limelight of global security thanks to coexisting conflicts and tensions stemming from including but not limited to nuclear threats, territorial disputes, historical animosity, diverging national interests, and competition between major powers. Even though regional economic cooperation and interdependence have increased significantly, such engagement has not led to robust political and security cooperation.

So far, nuclear negotiations and other security issues in Northeast Asia have been centered on bilateral negotiations. However, bilateral approaches have had limited sustainability and have failed to obliterate the political and military tensions in the region. At the same time, multilateral mechanisms such as ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have not been able to address the unique security challenges on the Korean Peninsula in greater depth.

Since its establishment in 2012, Seoul Defense Dialogue has sought to raise the awareness of the security situation on the Korean Peninsula and the Asia-Pacific region, and to discuss measures to strengthen multilateral cooperation. Based on the understanding that multilateral cooperation is essential to establishing sustainable peace in the region, Seoul Defense Dialogue has invited defense officials and security experts from around the world to engage in practical discussions on security matters and avenues of cooperation.

Seoul Defense Dialogue has expanded the thematic range to include non-traditional security issues such as disaster relief, cybersecurity, terrorism, and energy security. It has become increasingly difficult for one individual country to deal with the array of security threats in today’s security environment. Seoul Defense Dialogue quickly reflects the reality of security environment and looks to come up with policy prescriptions through dialogue and cooperation.

With Seoul Defense Dialogue firmly established as a stage for multilateral security dialogue that contributes to international peace and security, it is necessary to assess SDD’s achievements and their significance over the past ten years, and to suggest ways for SDD to evolve from a regional multilateral security dialogue to a global one.

Key Topics of Discussion

Achievements and significance of Seoul Defense Dialogue over the past ten years

Comparisons between Seoul Defense Dialogue and other regional multilateral security dialogues, and their implications

Suggestions for the direction of SDD’s qualitative growth