The government of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has adopted the catchphrase "Global Korea" to signify its desire to play a more assertive role as a contributor to the international community. The same aspiration is reflected in South Korea's emerging approach to global security issues as reflected in its 2008 Defense White Paper (.pdf), which states that in addition to maintaining stability on the Korean peninsula and building the foundations for national security and prosperity, a core national security objective is "enhancing competence and status internationally." This widening outlook is particularly striking to those who are accustomed to Korea's longstanding political and security focus only on things Korean.
Already a leading world economy, South Korea is a newly-minted member of the OECD's Donor Assistance Committee (DAC), and will be the first newly industrialized country to host a G-20 gathering of world leaders to assess global financial stability in November. So in many ways it is not surprising that South Korea has also begun to make contributions to international stability, including in areas far from the peninsula. Hand-in-hand with its aspirations as an international donor, South Korea is developing the capacity and desire to participate in maritime security, peacekeeping, and post-conflict stabilization missions. ...
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