This paper provides an overview of the key policy instruments and capacity building policy tools used in each development phase of science and technology in Korea. In the 1960s and ’70s, the Korean government built an institutional foundation for the development of science and technology. In the later part of the ’60s, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the governmentfunded research institute became key organizations to implementation of policies intended to foster the advance of science and technology in Korea. The Korean government also focused on learning about and absorbing foreign technologies by licensing and by importing capital goods. From 1980 to 1997, the Korean government shifted its policy direction from technology learning to developing by its own scientific and technological capacity in high-technology sectors, which requires an indigenous R&D capability. It launched large-scale R&D programs that targeted certain fields to close what was a large gap between advanced countries and Korea. Korea became a fast follower, making a massive investment in certain fields, such as the semiconductor, electronics, steel and chemical industries. In the late 1990s, the Korean government developed a plan to build a national science and technology innovation system. Although the relevant infrastructures had been in place for 40 years and an R&D capability for innovation was in the works, those were not perceived to be systematically working together, which is crucial for sustainable innovation. The government response to this problem was to design a policy that tried to systemize the whole process of science and technology innovation.