Episode 44: Between A ROK and a Hard Place?

Six months in, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol still treads a careful balance on some policy matters.

Veerle speaks with Ms Saeme Kim, Korea Foundation Visiting Fellow in RUSI’s Indo-Pacific Programme from 2021–2022. Saeme explores the policy continuities and changes in the Republic of Korea (ROK) from former President Moon Jae-in to current President Yoon Suk-yeol, outlining the country’s soon-to-be-launched Indo-Pacific Strategy and some bold new endeavours with partners like the US.

As tensions with Beijing and Pyongyang remain, greater cooperation with partners in Europe and the Indo-Pacific could come at a cost in Seoul’s own immediate regional environment. Despite this, a more outward-facing and networked South Korea with expertise in specific subregions and policy areas is likely to materialise. The UK, in particular, stands to gain from working more closely with Seoul, and Saeme offers a few ideas in this regard.

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.

The views or statements expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the podcast does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by RUSI employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of RUSI.


Veerle Nouwens

External Author | Former RUSI Senior Research Fellow, Asia-Pacific

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