Facing the Crucible: Australia, the ROK, and Cooperation in Asia

Korea Observer

Author/s (editor/s):

William T. Tow, Ajin Choi

Publication year:

2011

Publication type:

Journal article

Published in Korea Observer, 42(1) 2011: 1-19.

Current developments in Northeast Asia underscore the importance of recent efforts by Australia and South Korea to develop independent security ties. Understanding the rationales and selected benchmarks in Australian-South Korean politico-security relations is important to reaching a meaningful assessment of how they could affect regional and international security. The ‘common wisdom’ that the two countries’ distance from each other, and that their disparate historical and cultural backgrounds complicate the development of bilateral politico-security ties is contested here. A major challenge that both these ‘middle powers’ will face will be to reconcile their alliances with the United States with their growing economic and political relations with China, particularly in the context of responding to future strategic contingencies on the Korean peninsula.

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