Policy Briefs Books Journals

Peace and Security in Northeast Asia Policy Brief  No.127 - April, 2022

South Korea’s Geopolitics: Challenge and Strategic Choices

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South Korea is currently facing growing rivalry between China and the United States, creating pressures which have precipitated intense debates on South Korea’s strategic positioning. The purpose of this article is to elucidate the nature of domestic debates on geopolitical challenges and strategic choice in South Korea. The first section presents a brief historical overview of geopolitical dynamics of the Korean Peninsula. The second looks into South Korea’s strategic dilemma in the face of China-U.S. hegemonic rivalry. Thirdly, the article identifies four strategic options currently being debated in South Korea and traces how they are factored in the domestic politics of the March presidential election, 2022. Finally, it suggests a transcending diplomacy as an alternative to the current strategic dilemma.