S-Space Graduate School of Public Administration (행정대학원) Dept. of Public Administration (행정학과) Korean Journal of Policy Studies (정책논총) Korean Journal of Policy Studies (정책논총) vol.34 no.1-3 (2019)
Anatomy of the Republic of Koreas Niche Strategic Engagement in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS): ROKs Tailor-Made Strategy and its Security Policy Implication
- Ahn, Se Hyun
- Issue Date
- Korean Journal of Policy Studies, Vol.34 No.3, pp. 97-121
- Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS); Mekong River; Republic of Korea; Official Development Aid (ODA); New Southern Economic Policy; Knowledge Sharing Program
- Republic of Koreas engagement in Southeast Asia could be generally understood as its Official Development Aid (ODA) strategy in most academic interpretation. Nonetheless, this article examines not only Koreas traditional ODA approach toward Southeast Asia but also Koreas uniquely tailor-made strategy toward Indo-China Peninsula in particular as well as what is to be done. In other words, this article intends to take further step beyond ODA interpretation of this particular subject over this region. This study specifically provides with multi-dimensional analysis of Republic of Koreas involvement in Mekong River Sub-region as well as its regional and global security policy implication. The main thesis of this study is that Korea had no choice but to pursue Niche diplomacy toward the region because Korea did not possess full capacity enough to compete against Japan or China. In this sense, Koreas own development experience is very unique and perhaps the only experience that no other country in the world has possessed. This article contends that Koreas knowledge based capacity building projects toward Greater Mekong Sub-region such as KSP, CIAT, special Masters degree training projects, local capacity building process, and etc. will continue to increase and diversify in terms of scale and contents. Again, based upon Knowledge based capacity building projects, Korea is in the process of producing a wide range of its unique tailor- made ODA programs for each member states of GMS. Unlike Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Korea also tends to put more emphasis on creating exclusive Masters degree Training Program which is centered on trainees of ODA Recipient countries. In this regard, Koreas approach is aiming at strengthening discrimination by introducing a systemic evaluation system for training projects. This program will also turn out linchpin of ROKs new strategy toward Mekong River area.