The Republic of Korea's New Northern Policy and New Southern Policy in the Context of International Connectivity Initiatives: between Hedging and Alignment

  • Werner Pascha
Keywords: Republic of Korea (ROK), South Korea, Infrastructure, Connectivity, European Union (EU)

Abstract

Since 2017, South Korea pursues two initiatives in the evolving field of international infrastructure initiatives, the New Northern Policy and the New Southern Policy. The paper introduces key aspects of both, interprets them in the context of other initiatives and evaluates them, also with a perspective to further recalibration. The paper argues that South Korea has developed its policies in well-calibrated and timely manner as a hedging approach in order to achieve some degree of strategic autonomy. In the future, whatever degree of autonomy has been achieved to date will be difficult to uphold due to its inbuilt ambiguities and due to the challenges of making attractive connectivity propositions. For example, rebalancing its strategy towards approaches like Quad Plus that are not antagonistic towards China seems a reasonable next step. Collaboration with other countries or regional groups is also potentially useful in terms of an alignment strategy. Seeking closer links with the EU is such an option, and the paper offers ideas about what an “EU-ROK Connectivity Partnership“ could encompass.

KER cover image issue 1
Published
2021-12-17
How to Cite
Pascha, Werner. 2021. “The Republic of Korea’s New Northern Policy and New Southern Policy in the Context of International Connectivity Initiatives: Between Hedging and Alignment”. Korea Europe Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Politics, Society, and Economics, no. 1 (December). Berlin, Germany. https://doi.org/10.48770/ker.2021.no1.1.
Section
Original articles