The Security Dilemma in the Korean Peninsula: Foreign Policy of Yoon Seok-youl, the Incoming President of South Korea


South Korean presidential election ended and the conservative party candidate, Yoon Suk-yeol won the election. How will he balance the relationships between Korea and the US and China?

The current progressive Moon Jae-in administration has pursued strategic ambiguity in foreign policy, trying to maintain a strong alliance relationship with the US while pursuing an economic partnership with China. During the campaign, Yoon promised that he will reverse the Moon’s foreign policy and pursue strategic clarity, emphasizing security concerns in the Korean Peninsula. In this episode, Dr. Sungmin Cho shares his expertise on South and North Korea’s relations with China, North Korea’s newly posed threats this year, and the security dynamics surrounding the Korean Peninsula.

Dr. Sungmin Cho is a professor of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, an academic institute of the US Department of Defense, based in Hawaii. His area of expertise covers China-Korean Peninsula relations, North Korea’s nuclear program, and the US alliance in East Asia. Dr. Cho has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, including World Politics, The China Journal, Asian Security, Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, and Korea Observer. His commentaries also appeared in Foreign Affairs, War on the Rocks, The Diplomat, and Defense One, among others. Prior to the academic career, Dr.Cho served in the Korean Army as an intelligence officer for three years, including seven-month deployment to Iraq. He received his PhD in Government from Georgetown University, his Master’s degree in International Relations from Peking University, and his B.A. in Political Science from Korea University.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in the podcast belong to the commentator.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

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Myunghee Lee

Myunghee Lee is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in the department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. She is also a Non-resident Fellow at the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on protest, authoritarian politics, and democratization. Her regional focus is on China and the Korean Peninsula. Her work appears injournals such as International Security, International Studies Review and Politics & Gender.

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