South Korea becomes 10th non-European country to join Europol


SEOUL, Dec 22 — South Korea on Wednesday became the 10th country outside of Europe to join the European Union (EU) law enforcement cooperation agency, Europol, that fights terrorism and other international crimes.

The National Police Agency (NPA) joined Europol by signing a working-level agreement that was approved unanimously by the 27 EU nations on Oct 6. The accession is an outcome of efforts by police to strengthen cooperation with Europe since 2017, Yonhap news agency quoted the officials.

Under the agreement, police can now exchange information on crime and cooperate with member states of Europol — 17 European and nine non-European countries — as well as international organisations and research institutes collaborating with the agency.

The NPA said the agreement is expected to enhance police response capabilities against global crimes through sharing expertise and training programs, and working together with Europol officers.

NPA chief Kim Chang Yong had planned to visit Europol headquarters in the Hague to attend a signing ceremony but exchanged the agreement with Europol’s Commissioner-General Catherine De Bolle through a diplomatic pouch due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Europol, established in 1992, is EU’s law enforcement agency supporting the fight against terrorism, international drug trafficking and other serious crimes.