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South Korea Signs Deal To Become NATO Partner

NATO and South Korea on Thursday signed a new partnership program that sets the framework for cooperation and political dialog.

NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow and the South Korean Ambassador Kim Chang-beom signed the first Individual Partnership Cooperation Program (IPCP) at NATO's Brussels headquarters.

The new partnership program will promote political dialog and practical cooperation in a number of joint priority areas, including response to terrorism, multinational peace support operations and Science for Peace and Security, a NATO press release said.

South Korea is already a contributor to the Alliance's stabilization efforts in Afghanistan, where it leads a provincial reconstruction team in Parwan province. Seoul has also made a generous contribution of $50 million to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund.

Inking of the IPCP is the result of seven years of progressive engagement from a dialog between the two sides initiated in 2005.

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