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South Korea as new middle power seeking complex diplomacy

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  • South Korea as new middle power seeking complex diplomacy
  • Lee, Sook-Jong
  • East Asia Institute


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Title South Korea as new middle power seeking complex diplomacy
Similar Titles
Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Lee, Sook-Jong

Publisher

Seoul:East Asia Institute

Date 2012-09
Series Title; No EAI Asia Security Initiative Working Paper / 25
Pages 36
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Government and Law < National security
Government and Law < International Politics
Holding East Asia Institute

Abstract

South Korea’s sustained economic growth since the early 1960s transformed a once aid-dependent poor country into an economic middle power by the mid-1990s. This was internationally recognized when South Korea became an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member in 1996. With its fast recovery from the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, South Korea’s nominal GDP became the eleventh largest in the world in 2002. Since then, the country’s economic size has been ranked between 11th and 15th in the world. In terms of territorial size, South Korea is a relatively small country, ranked 108th among the 234 countries of the world. However, its population is fairly large, ranked 23rd among the 220 countries of the world. Its human capital is competitive as its rank of 15th in 2011 UN’s Human Development Index among 169 countries suggests. South Korea’s military power is usually ranked as one of the top ten in the world as well. In June 2012, South Korea’s population reached 50 million. Combined with its per capita income of about US$24,000, the South Korean media celebrated this achievement as a sign of South Korea’s entry into the “20K-50M Club,” which has only happened for the seventh time in the world after major powers had achieved this status. All these statistics illustrate clearly that South Korea is one of the leading middle powers in the world. (The rest omitted)