The Dynamics of Democratized South Korean Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era
In 1987, South Korea initiated a successful transition to democracy that has played a critical role in determining the government’s domestic and foreign policy. Paradoxically, the dynamics of the democratized political system appears to have created a polarization of Korean social values and attitudes. The division into conservative and progressive groups has heavily complicated the government’s foreign policy: it has become inconsistent, showing lack of continuity, and involving frequent changes to its policy towards neighbouring countries.
This chapter examines the major political factors that have influenced South Korea’s foreign and security policy towards neighbouring countries in the years following the transition to democracy. The discourse is centred around the following five points of view: first, it focuses on the policy makers’ ideal inclination; second, on the interaction between conservative and progressive groups; third, on the power relations between the ruling party and the opposition party; fourth, on the influence by public opinion; and last, on how neighbouring countries as external factors have had an impact on the divided South Korean foreign policy.
Disaster Risk Reduction: A Sustainable Path for Inter-Korea Cooperation
Introduction: Even in its current state of pandemic-induced isolation, North Korea continues to engage the international community on climate adaption and disaster risk reduction. South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s renewed […]
Chun In-bum on Seoul’s Security Policy Amid the Mounting North Korean Missile Threat
Mitch Shin interviews Chun In-bum on Seoul’s Security Policy Amid the Mounting North Korean Missile Threat.
Towards a New Conflict Management System on the Korean Peninsula: A Military Perspective
In this essay, Major General (ret.) Mats Engman assesses the lack of a viable conflict management system on the Korean Peninsula. While the nearly seven decades-old Armistice Agreement and focus […]
With New Law on Nuclear Forces Policy, North Korea Says Its Nuclear Status Is ‘Irreversible’
Introduction: A day before the 74th anniversary of the country’s founding, North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un publicly declared that his nuclear weapons are no longer a bargaining chip […]
North Korea Threats Make Engaging Quad a Risk Worth Taking for South Korea
Introduction: For much of the past decade, South Korea was inclined to play a balancing act between the U.S. and China while keeping its foreign policy energy primarily focused on […]
South Korea’s Foreign Policy in Changing Times: Reversing Course?
Abstract: The tragedy currently unfolding in Ukraine may be a symptom of new dynamics in global geopolitics. The changing balance of power epitomized by the rise of China and the […]