London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

LKL book database logo

South Korea’s Grand Strategy: Making Its Own Destiny

Since the end of the Cold War, South Korea has taken on a greater role in global affairs. Ramon Pacheco Pardo provides a groundbreaking analysis of South Korea’s foreign policy from its transition to democracy in the late 1980s through the present day, arguing that the country’s approach to the world constitutes a grand strategy.

This book examines the key factors and goals that shape South Korea’s long-term strategy, with analysis that brings together its diplomatic, military, economic, and soft-power components. Pacheco Pardo shows that South Korea’s fundamental aim has been to move beyond its past as a “shrimp among whales” and instead attain autonomy and freedom of action. He explores how South Korean leaders across parties and governments have pursued security, prosperity, and status. Pacheco Pardo tracks South Korea’s core relationships with North Korea, the United States, and China, and he details the country’s objectives and policies across East Asia, the Asia-Pacific region, and the rest of the world.

Drawing on in-depth interviews with past and present policy makers, this book presents an analytical account of how South Korean strategy is made and practiced. It expertly lays out South Korea’s grand strategy and, more broadly, makes a compelling case that middle powers like South Korea can implement grand strategies.

About the Author

Ramon Pacheco Pardo is professor of international relations at King’s College London and the KF-VUB Korea Chair at the Brussels School of Governance at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His books include Shrimp to Whale: South Korea from the Forgotten War to K-Pop (2022) and, with Victor Cha, Korea: A New History of South and North (2023).

Source: publisher’s website

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.