South Korea: A Pivotal State under Construction


By Ramon Pacheco Pardo


President Yoon Suk-yeol has vowed to transform South Korea into a Global Pivotal State, or ‘GPS’ for short. In Yoon’s view, South Korea needs to ‘step up’ as a foreign policy actor and become a more active player in global affairs beyond the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. Certainly, this approach to foreign policy is not new and can be traced back to at least the early 1990s. In striving to build a GPS and talking about stepping up engagement is the perception that Moon Jae-in, the previous South Korean president, spent much of his time dealing with North Korea and neglected other foreign policy areas. While this is debatable, Yoon’s foreign policy team is making clear that its foreign policy ambitions go well beyond the Korean Peninsula. 


On 29th September, KF-VUB Korea Chair is holding its flagship conference Brussels Korea Forum at the Stanhope Brussels hotel. The Forum is the preeminent event for a Brussels and European audience to learn about and discuss Korean affairs, including Korean Peninsula security and South Korea-EU relations, together with their Korean counterparts. To join in person or online, please register here.