South Korea’s Corona-Diplomacy in the Soft Power Race

Young-in Lee

While countries in the West have suffered from domestic struggles, the global crisis caused by COVID-19 has become an opportunity for public diplomacy for several countries in the East. Once having the second largest outbreak in the world behind China, South Korea succeeded in flattening the curve quickly thanks to swift government intervention and joined the soft power race immediately. However, the initiative was purposefully connected to public diplomacy at home with the aim of winning the 21st legislative election. Promoted as “South Korea’s corona-diplomacy” by government campaigns, the victory against the novel coronavirus narrative was deliberately employed to get domestic consensus behind approving the Moon administration, whose strategy achieved its objective.

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