Yoon Suk-Yeol Administration's Foreign Policy Strategy and the U.S.Rok Alliance

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-1-68-79
O. Davydov, 4545233@mail.ru
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 08.09.2022. Revised 05.10.2022. Accepted 21.10.2022.

Abstract. The article studies new foreign policy of South Korea after the administration change in Seoul in May 2022. Over the last period, the external environment for the country has become more complex. That was due to the growth of rivalry between the USA and China, COVID‑19 pandemic implications as well as the Ukrainian crisis, which resulted in increased global and regional instability and disruption of previously established supply chains. Along with that, the confrontation on the Korean Peninsula has become deeper and more protracted with no way forward to break that impasse. All previous attempts to engage North Korea into the dialogue, made by the Moon Jae-in administration, have failed. Those factors affected the priorities chosen by the new administration in foreign affairs. The author concentrates on the concept of the “global pivotal state” announced by the Yoon Suk-yeol’s government. With the criticism of the previous government’s approach that was narrowly focused on Inter-Korean agendas, the new foreign policy team is going to pursue the brand of a “value diplomacy”, emphasizing South Korea’s role in promoting “liberal democracy” and “rules-based regional order”. As for North Korea, Yoon Suk-yeol has shifted his strategy to a hard-line approach which implied strengthening deterrence and raising credibility of the U.S. assurances to provide a nuclear umbrella to defend its ally. The article highlights Seoul’s new policy aimed at rebuilding and strengthening the “comprehensive global alliance” between the ROK and the USA that presupposes cooperation on a wide range of international and regional agendas beyond the Korean Peninsula. The paper explores some emerging political dimensions of South Korea in the Indo-Pacific region. It is shown that Seoul wishes to be an active participant of the U.S. – led minilateral arrangements to ensure its expanded economic and security interests in the region.

Keywords: Republic of Korea, USA, Japan, DPRK, Yoon Suk-yeol, Moon Jae-in, “global pivotal state”, U.S.–ROK Alliance, Indo-Pacific region


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For citation:
Davydov O. Yoon Suk-Yeol Administration's Foreign Policy Strategy and the U.S.Rok Alliance. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 68-79. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-1-68-79 EDN: FFQTTG

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