Australia and South Korea: middle power cooperation and Asian security

International relations Defence Australia Asia

A more comprehensive strategic relationship between South Korea and Australia may be of increasing value given the tectonic shifts in our region, argues this report.

Authored by Carl Ungerer and Simon Smith, this report provides a clear-eyed assessment of the small but productive role that an expanded bilateral agenda could play in maintaining regional peace and stability.

Until recently, Australia and South Korea have shown little interest in developing a more comprehensive strategic relationship. Each country has faced very different, largely exclusive security dilemmas that have forestalled new forms of middle power cooperation.

For both countries, a more comprehensive strategic relationship may be of increasing value. This report argues that three broad areas of security cooperation stand out for consideration: joint activism in regional security forums, assistance with post-conflict and stabilisation operations, and strengthening cooperation among the ‘spokes’ of the San Francisco alliance system.

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