Is South Korea a Middle-power?

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Traditional definition of middle-power is that the state able to perform its capacity to influence the interests or issues in the region or the global community by coalition building with ‘like-minded’ states for seeking the humanitarian and moral diplomacy, otherwise known as ‘Good International Citizens. Jefferey Robertson, Middle Power in Global Governance. ’ As traditional middle-powers, the state has to demonstrate high level of social equality and establish political value as well as highly integrated global economy and tendency of seeking status quo. As emerging powers, it shows less stable social democracies, high level of inequality and less political value, with less integrated into global economy Jefferey Robertson, ‘South Korea as a Middle Power-Capacity, Behavior and Now Opportunity,’ KINU, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 151-174 (2007) . Finally after two decades, since it reached its economical and political capacity, South Korea has recognized its ‘Middle-power diplomacy’ as a three strategic triad and also recognized its role in the Multilateralism with other middle powers as well as Australia, a traditional middle power Woo-Sang Kim, ‘Middle-power Foreign Cooperation Research: Focus on Korea & Australia,’ Jeju Peace Institute, No. 2011-31 (2011) . South Korea has shown somewhat different behaviors in the past as middle-power state as well as emerging power state. However last two decades of South Korea’s lacking of those middle-power policies was, also an excuse, mainly because of the unique security tensions that exists on the Korean peninsula. That unique security issue with North Korea and the geological relations with traditional great powers, China and US as well as others that has interests in the East Asian ... ... middle of paper ... ...tion and Asian security,’ Strategic Insights, ASPI (Oct, 2010) Andrew Cooper & Jongryn Mo, ‘Middle Power Leadership and the Evolution of the G20,’ Global Summitry Journal (May, 2013) James Cotton, ‘Middle Powers in the Asia Pacific: Korea in Australian Comparative Perspective,’ Korea Observer, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 593-621, the Institute of Korean Studies (2013) Sarah Teo, Bhubhindar Singh and See Seng Tan, ‘South Korea’s Middle-Power Engagement Initiatives: Perspectives from Southeast Asia,’ RSIS Working Paper, No. 265, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies Singapore (Nov, 2013) Stephen S. Roach, Christopher Graves, Richard Dobbs, Shen Dingli, Bill Emmott, ‘South Korea: Finding its place on the world stage,’ McKinsey&Company, (Apr, 2010), http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/winning_in_emerging_markets/south_korea_finding_its_place_on_the_world_stage
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