South Korea's foreign aid as a foreign policy instrument

Jisun Song, Eun Mee Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The main objective of this chapter is to analyze South Korea's international development cooperation as a donor, with special reference to the history of institutional structure and foreign aid allocation. In particular, the chapter demonstrates how South Korea's foreign aid has been practiced in close alignment with the government's foreign policies. The timeframe of the research is from 1963 to early 2021. The findings indicate that South Korea's foreign aid was utilized as a foreign policy tool in different ways, depending on the changing domestic and international economic and political context. In the 1960s and 1970s, South Korea's official development assistance (ODA) was heavily influenced by its diplomatic competition with North Korea in the international arena and the motivation to secure more allies. However, rapid economic development and heightened status in the global economy led to growing demand to fulfill its obligation in the international community, resulting in increasing the ODA budget. At the same time, expanding trade and diplomatic relations with Asia meant prioritization of the region in foreign policy and subsequently foreign aid. Even in the 2000s, South Korea's foreign aid strongly reflects its foreign policy and geographic interest in Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Development Cooperation of Japan and South Korea
Subtitle of host publicationNew Strategies for an Uncertain World
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9789811646010
ISBN (Print)9789811646003
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

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