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World Economy Brief

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Title South Korean Diplomacy Between Domestic Challenges and Soft Power
Author Jan Melissen and Hwa-Jung Kim
Date 2018-08-27
File WEB 18-23.pdf 

South Korean diplomacy abroad is constrained by peninsular concerns and, recovering from the national political trauma in 2016-17. Also, instructed by the presidential Blue House, the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is focusing more on consultation with the domestic public than ever before. Considering the recent development in the country's diplomacy, little more than a year into the Moon Jae-in administration is a good time to take stock of how the South Korean government is dealing with key aspects of diplomatic modernization. In this regard, the aim of this paper is twofold: One is to examine the current state of South Korean diplomacy and its main issues while the other is to look into how the domestic challenges for the country's diplomacy paradoxically offer an unusal window for diplomatic innovation. To that end, the paper discusses societization of South Korean diplomacy and the country's diplomatic response to digitalization.