North Korea is the 'most serious and imminent' security threat facing the region, said the Republic of Korea’s Minister of National Defense, Song Young-moo, in a major speech at the IISS Fullerton Forum, which took place in Singapore on 28–30 January 2018. His country would 'utilise all possible measures ... to achieve complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula'. Transnational threats, meanwhile – such as terrorism, cyber attacks and natural disasters – were also creating greater uncertainty globally.
Read Song's prepared remarks >
Singapore’s Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence, Ong Ye Kung, also delivered a special address at the Forum.
Known as the 'IISS Shangri-La Dialogue Sherpa Meeting', the IISS Fullerton Forum provides an opportunity for senior defence officials, high-ranking military officers and non-governmental experts to discuss key regional security issues. Around 75 delegates drawn from over 20 countries that regularly participate in the SLD process took part.
Beyond its role as a catalyst for the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, the Forum has grown to become a key fixture for military diplomacy in the Asia Pacific in its own right. Delegates continued discussions begun at the 2017 IISS Shangri-La Dialogue of vitally important regional security questions, including how nations may protect their interests while avoiding conflict, the implications of the Marawi siege in the southern Philippines for counter-terrorism strategies, how security challenges at sea might be managed most effectively, and how states may find common ground on security challenges.
The discussions provided the IISS with an even sharper understanding of the evolving defence and security concerns that need to be addressed at the 17th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, which will take place on 1–3 June 2018.