South Korea has undoubtedly become a major player both in regional and — increasingly — global geopolitics. A remarkable period of economic growth in recent decades has led it to become the world’s tenth largest economy, home to global corporate giants such as Samsung and Hyundai. Yet the country’s post World War Two politics has been marked by drama, particularly as it transitioned to democracy in the 1980s, and more recently, as the threat from neighbour North Korea has intensified. Meanwhile South Korea’s growing influence on the world stage has been buttressed by its extraordinary cultural success, particularly with the rise of K-Pop and the popularity of Korean cinema.
Our regular contributor Ramon Pacheco Pardo, the Korea Chair at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance, is our guest this week to discuss his new book, ‘From Shrimp to Whale’, in which he captures many of these themes. Joining him is Kim Eun Mee, Professor and Dean at the Graduate School of International Studies and the Director of the Institute for Development and Human Security at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. Listen to the podcast episode: