Following this year’s G20 Summit, the global attitude towards Korea has completely changed. President Lee Myung-bak’s proposals for solving the global economic crisis and environmental issues have been getting attention and support and thus, we have successfully made a transition from the title “Korea Discount” to “Korea Premium.”
President Lee has been making progress in collaborating with individual countries in the hopes of solving these global issues: he has effectively accomplished an alliance with the United States on cooperating to combat the 21st century’s global environmental issues, a collaboration with Japan on future problems, and an atmosphere of sharing strategies with Russia and China. Most importantly, President Lee has succeeded in reaching an agreement with the United States in maintaining the U.S. armed forces at the level they are currently at, as well as elevating the rank of Korea’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS).
Also, he has managed to widen the diplomatic horizons from the regional four great powers (China, Russia, Japan and the United States) through his New Asia Diplomacy. He has visited New Zealand, Australia, and Indonesia this March and proclaimed the basis of this diplomatic push. He built a relationship with Uzbekistan in strategic planning and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kazakhstan.
Korea has signed Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with the United States, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India and, as of last October, with the European Union (EU). This is noteworthy, for Korea is the first of all the Asian countries to have agreements with the two global economic super powers, the United States and the EU.
* Adapted from Weekly Gonggam Magazine
By Lina Kwon
Korea.net Staff Writer