European Institute for Asian Studies
Seoul Between Beijing and Washington: South Korea's Strategic Dilemma
  • Start04:00 PM - May 23 2017
  • End06:00 PM - May 23 2017
  • Asia Platform, Rue de la Loi 26, 10th floor, 1040 Brussels
  • + 32 2 230 81 22
  • alberto.turkstra@eias.org

Programme

15:30-16:00

16:00-16:15

Registration

Introduction by the Chair

Mr Frederic Carlier, Senior Associate, European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS)

16:15-16:45

Keynote Address

Prof. Hieyeon Keum, Department of International Relations, University of Seoul

16:45-17:15

Panel Discussion

H.E. Mr Brian McDonald, former Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea

Ms Fanny-Anh Le Hoang, Researcher, Group for Research and Information on Peace and Security (GRIP)

Ms Angela Sarafian, Researcher, European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS)

17:15-18:00

Q&A

18:00

Networking Reception

Seoul Between Beijing and Washington: South Korea’s Strategic Dilemma

For the past thousands years, Korea has been called “A Shrimp Between the Whales” which implies that Korea was crushed between a fight among big powers. Now in the 21st century, Korea is again caught between a “Rising China” and a “Long Time Ally”, the US. Recently, China is strongly opposing the close ties between Seoul and Washington, while the new US president Trump has initiated isolationist and protectionist economic policies. Korea has been forced to pay more for its own defense.

With never-ending provocations and nuclear threats emanating from North Korea, Seoul has more security burdens which can be reduced by US security commitments, but at the same time, China, unhappy with the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in Korea, is now retaliating against Korean businesses by reducing or cutting off bilateral economic relations. Seoul’s main foreign policy priority is to find a balance between security interests and economic interests and how to manage these two vital relationships with great powers in harmony.


In the 21st century, Korea is a caught between a “Rising China” and a “Long Time Ally”, the United States. Seoul’s main foreign policy priority is to find a balance between security interests and economic interests and s how to manage these two vital relationships with great powers in harmony.



European Institute for Asian Studies

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