Indo-Pacific Strategic Cooperation and South Korea-China Relations
Park Jae Jeok
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
The U.S. is actively seeking South Korea’s cooperation in implementing its Indo-Pacific Strategy. South Korea may respond to the U.S. demand for cooperation by negotiating South Korea’s new Southern Policy with the U.S.’ Indo-Pacific Strategy as a strategy to maintain the ROK-U.S. alliance. In fact, the U.S.’ Indo-Pacific Strategy creates a space for South Korea to cooperate with China in areas of infrastructure and maritime security. Nonetheless, the Indo-Pacific Strategy’s ultimate goal is to keep China in check. As the number and scale of military training conducted by the Quad - x + European countries in Northeast Asia are expected to increase, South Korea may have to choose between establishing a U.S. security network and considering China's security interests around the Korean Peninsula first, not in the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait, or the Indian Ocean.