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 […]
Korean Peninsula Tensions Escalate Amid a Return to Old School Policies
Introduction: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin met his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken on Monday in Washington, D.C. The meeting came three weeks after a summit meeting in Seoul between […]
Seoul Says North Korea Didn’t Test Hwasong-17 ICBM After All
Introduction: North Korea claims that it successfully tested its new Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which first appeared in a military parade in October 2020, on March 24, eight days after another […]
How Will the Ukraine War Affect the Korean Peninsula?
Introduction: The arms race on the Korean Peninsula will linger following the Ukraine crisis. North Korea tested a cruise missile as part of an effort to develop its reconnaissance satellite system on […]