South Korea recently hosted two major international events: the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in December 2011 and the Nuclear Security Summit in March 2012. Both meetings underscore South Korea’s ambitions to increase its involvement in global development assistance and security.
The Korean president Lee Myung-bak is pursuing a policy of international contributions with his “Global Korea” national security strategy. Foreign deployments of the South Korean military and an increase in development assistance are expressions of this policy. However, not only humanitarian reasons, but also the desire for global visibility, recognition and influence play a role in this context.
South Korea joined the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee at the end of 2009; ten years previously this committee had still classified the country as a recipient state.
When deploying its military to foreign countries, South Korea’s priorities are non-military assignments such as civil reconstruction, political consulting or medical support.
The activities in the field of development assistance and security constitute core elements in the expansion of the country’s role in international relations.
Considering South Korea’s economic and political development since the state’s inception in 1945, its further ascent in global politics cannot be ruled out.
South Korea as a Global Actor: International Contributions to Development and Security, GIGA Focus International Edition English, 02, urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-309707(2012),
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