South Korea Invests in V4 to Balance Out US-China Rivalry

Building a Global Alliance of Medium-sized Democracies

4 February 2021

Wojciech Przybylski


As Central and Eastern Europe prepares for a meeting with the People’s Republic of China on 9 February 2021, the eye-catching 17+1 format risks overlooking a more enduring alliance with mid-sized democracies in East Asia. The experience of rapid transformation in South Korea is relevant for Central Europe and year on year, Korean investment increases in the Visegrad region. South Korea is an example of how democratic security and economic prosperity can be obtained despite regional threats.

Visegrad Insight sat down for exclusive online chats with Professor Kim Joon-hyung, a top foreign policy advisor in South Korea who President Moon Jae-in appointed as the Chancellor of Korea National Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other country experts to discuss bilateral relations and strategic foresight.

Kim Joon-hyung is considered a co-author of Moon’s “New Southern Policy” strategy. I spoke extensively with him about the expansion of South Korea’s relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India, the future of security and prosperity, relations with China and partnership with the United States. Here is what Visegrad Insight has learnt.

Democratic security guarded by Western allies

Kim Joon-hyung (© Penta Press)

The Korean experience is of particular interest to Central European countries for two reasons. South Korea is an established democracy that underwent a rapid political and economic transformation around the same time as the region’s countries.


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Wojciech Przybylski


Political analyst heading Visegrad Insight's policy foresight on European affairs. His expertise includes foreign policy and political culture. Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight and President of the Res Publica Foundation. Europe's Future Fellow at IWM - Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna and Erste Foundation. Wojciech also co-authored a book 'Understanding Central Europe’, Routledge 2017. He has been published in Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Journal of Democracy, EUObserver, Project Syndicate, VoxEurop, Hospodarske noviny, Internazionale, Zeit, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Onet, Gazeta Wyborcza and regularly appears in BBC, Al Jazeera Europe, Euronews, TRT World, TVN24, TOK FM, Swedish Radio and others.


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