Episode 8: South Korea’s Indo-Pacific Synergy

This week, Veerle is joined by Professor Heung-Kyu Kim, founder and Director of the US-China Policy Institute and professor in the Department of Political Science and Diplomacy at Ajou University, South Korea.

Veerle and Professor Kim explore why South Korea – a country that has not released an Indo-Pacific strategy – has been reluctant to adopt the concept. Professor Kim offers an insight into South Korea’s strategy of balancing between China, North Korea, Russia, and the United States. Notwithstanding this, there has been a gradual acceptance of the concept and strategies put forward by other countries, and further synergies between the Moon Jae-In government’s so-called New Southern Policy may be forged with the Biden Administration. Professor Kim also highlights South Korea’s view on the potential formation of new ‘alliances of democracies’ and reflects on South Korea’s invitation to join this year’s G7 Summit, to be hosted by the United Kingdom.

Bridging the Oceans Podcast Series

Bridging the Oceans, hosted by Veerle Nouwens, will explore what the Indo-Pacific is, where its limits lie, and what the fast-evolving defence and security issues are in this dynamic part of the world.

Together with a diverse range of experts, the podcast will also analyse today’s top geopolitical questions in the Indo-Pacific, understand how these are seen within the region itself, and consider how these issues may impact countries outside the region, like the United Kingdom.

Episodes will be published bi-weekly and are part of our Navigating the Indo-Pacific programme.


Veerle Nouwens

Senior Research Fellow, Asia-Pacific

International Security

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Aaditya Dave

Research Analyst, South Asia

International Security

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