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PacNet #66 – South Korea’s Growing Role and Contribution to International Stability

Get ready for a new South Korea. The country is well known as an export powerhouse despite the struggling global economy. Samsung, Hyundai, and most recently Psy’s YouTube hit "Gangnam Style" enjoy unprecedented popularity and profits around the world. But even more impressive than its export growth is South Korea’s emergence as a producer rather than a consumer of international security goods despite an ongoing threat from North Korea. These contributions to a wide range of global peacekeeping and stabilization operations are all the more impressive because they entail cost and sacrifice for global stability not directly tied to tangible returns on investment. As a newly elected member of the UN Security Council during 2013 and 2014, South Korea has the opportunity to use these investments as a "middle power" and responsible leader in the international community.