GIGA Focus International Edition English ,

South Korea as a Global Actor: International Contributions to Development and Security

GIGA Focus | International Edition English | Number 02 |

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.

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Suggested Citation Style

Olbrich, Philipp, und David Shim (2012), South Korea as a Global Actor: International Contributions to Development and Security, GIGA Focus International Edition English, 02, urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-309707


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The German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) – Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien in Hamburg publishes the Focus series on Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and global issues. The GIGA Focus is edited and published by the GIGA. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the institute. Authors alone are responsible for the content of their articles. GIGA and the authors cannot be held liable for any errors and omissions, or for any consequences arising from the use of the information provided.

General Editor GIGA Focus Series: Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach