China’s stupendous rise and the subsequent rivalry with the US for global hegemony have forced countries to choose sides; caught between a rock and a hard place, middle powers like India and South Korea have sought to maintain partnerships with both countries in the geo-economic space while precariously balancing the two in the geo-political domain.
In this policy paper HCSS Senior Fellow Jagannath Panda contends that South Korea’ s flagship New Southern Policy (NSP), under Moon Jae-in, is unwilling to embrace the Indo-Pacific construct. This has brought to the forefront challenges that Seoul must overcome to raise its global profile.
Panda explores the potential impact of the Yoon administration’s initiative of aligning with the US Indo-Pacific strategy on the India-South Korea ties and what this means for the quad. It also reviews the new global possibilities emerging for South Korea following its support of the US-initiated Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), including collaboration with Japan. Against this geo-political reality, this paper provides a summary of policy prescriptions to advance India-South Korea ties.
Author: Jagannath Panda, Head of Stockholm Centre for South Asian and Indo-Pacific Affairs (SCSA-IPA) at the Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP), Sweden.
Photo source: Prime Minister’s Office (GODL-India)