south korea

This week’s PD News roundup explored the effectiveness of bilateral relations the world over. 

A hard-line strategy is not likely to persuade the DPRK regime to give up its missiles and nuclear weapons. Nor will it garner the support of the South Korean public, which is poised to elect a centrist or center-left president in the May 9 election. Most importantly, preemptive strikes or enhanced sanctions will delay ongoing economic reforms in North Korea and set back its integration into the global economy. Internal economic and social change is ultimately the only path to moderate the DPRK regime and its policies.

South Korea and Africa’s exchange of ideas and experience can go further. An avenue which would allow the fulfilling of both the cultural and economic aspirations of the relations could be the formation of sister-cities; pairing each of South Korea’s major cities’ governments with those of Africa and forging a kind of ‘Mayoral Korea-Africa Forum’ as well accompanying that with population exchange programmes. 

A Seoul-based nongovernmental organization on Friday declared a massive global campaign to publicize South Korea's ownership of Dokdo, soon after the Japanese government approved revised education guidelines renewing its claim to the East Sea islets. VANK, or Voluntary Agency Network of Korea is a cyber diplomacy organization of 120,000 Korean and international members united under the purpose of properly introducing Korea to the world.

The Korea-Africa Business Forum and Cultural Exchange in Busan, has the specific goals of making the Bank's 53rd Annual Meetings successful by promoting the Korean general public's and private sector's interests in Africa. [...] The AfDB has put a lot of efforts to support the Korean private sector's investment ventures in Africa. For instance, the Bank's Asia External Representation Office (SNAR) has been providing the latest information and news to the private sector and hosting events about "Doing business in and with Africa."

Next up is San Francisco, where this autumn another comfort women memorial will be erected. There, too, local politicians were subjected to hardball pressure tactics and an orchestrated campaign against the memorial that reflect badly on brand Japan. Shouldn’t public diplomacy work toward improving Japan’s image? In the history wars now being waged by Tokyo, this goal is being sacrificed on the altar of revisionism.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives in Asia on Wednesday for his first foreign trip with almost no fanfare. He’s travelling on a “small plane” with “a modest footprint,” says a spokesman. He’s bringing along just one reporter and will hold only one brief press conference during his planned stops in Japan, South Korea and China. It’s a far cry from the splash Hillary Clinton made in February 2009 on her first trip abroad as secretary of state, following a similar itinerary through Asia. 

A South Korean non-governmental organization said Monday that it will launch a youth team in Ukraine this week to step up promotion of South Korea and its policy and culture in the European region. The digital public diplomacy team will be comprised of 100 local and Korean students. Its launch ceremony will be held at a university in Kiev, Ukraine on Friday, according to the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea.

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