Author: Soyeun Kim.
Kim, Soyeun. 2013. "Korea in Africa: A Missing Piece of the Puzzle?." 51-66.
T he paper explores the relatively little studied Korea-Africa relations via development cooperation in order to better appreciate Africa's changing development landscape. It examines various stages of Korea's Africa strategy in the post-Korean War era in exploring its three key motivations: achieving resource security, gaining political clout in UN voting and promoting soft power through 'contributive' diplomacy. In the early days of its diplomatic relationship with Africa, Korea received criticism for advancing a limited and short sighted strategy aimed at securing African votes at the UN for its formal membership. Since the mid-2000s, Seoul's Africa policy has become more formalised and institutionalised via various forums and initiatives. This has implications not only for the diversification of objectives of South Korea in Africa, but also for the fast-changing landscape of development cooperation. An analysis of both historical and recent data of South Korean Official Development Assistance (ODA), trade flows and FDI flows into Africa suggests that South Korea places a strategic value on African resources and markets, and that a possible link exists between ODA flows and trade priorities, especially FDI for resource development.