International Trends: Korea 2012
International Trends: Korea paints a complex picture of a Republic of Korea that is balancing a Western security orientation, fraught neighborhood relationships, and the demands and challenges of a globalized economy. The survey has captured perceptions about how South Korea, Europe, and the United States are responding to power shifts, which relationships people think matter, and the spaces in which there are enough shared values and interests to facilitate greater international cooperation. Despite power shifts — perhaps because of them — Europe, South Korea, and the United States remain close in their ideas about global leadership and in their relationships with each other.
In this context, the survey uncovered some notable findings, three of which stand out: Koreans’ largely mixed feelings about their relationships with the United States and the EU, despite the fact that two-in-three Koreans want strong global leadership from both the United States and the EU; 64% of Koreans say they have been personally affected by the global economic crisis, and 70% are critical of their governments’ economic policy; and three-in-four Koreans see China as a military threat.