Korea's Foreign Policy Towards Brazil (1959 - 2009): An Analysis of the Past, the Present, and the Future
Journal of Luso-Brazilian Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp.177~204, December 30, 2009
28 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2012
Date Written: December 30, 2009
2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and Brazil. Looking into Korea's history of foreign affairs, Korea and Brazil's diplomatic relation can be categorized into two periods. The first period (1959~1992) is defined by the establishment of ties in 1959 until the Roh Tae Woo administration which ended Cold War diplomacy by joining the UN alongside North Korea. Even until this time, Korea's foreign policy towards Brazil was more focused on Cold War diplomacy and immigration diplomacy. Owing to events like forming diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union in September 1990 and China in August 1992, threats to Korea's national security diminished and led to the rise of economic trade diplomacy. The second period (1993~present) displays the acceleration of economic trade diplomacy after President Kim Young Sam's visit to Brazil. President Kim was the first to visit Brazil as a national guest in 1996 since 1959 and he opened the path for summit diplomacy. Because Brazil is geographically far from Korea, summit diplomacy is an effective diplomatic means. President Kim's visit paved the path for President Cardoso's visit in 2001, (President Kim Dae Jung's plan to visit Brazil in 2001 was cancelled due to the 9.11 Terrorist Attacks), President Roh Moo Hyun's visit in 2004, President Lula's tour in 2005, and President Lee Myung Bak's trip to Brazil in 2008. Both countries strived to establish common values through each summit meeting yet has failed to do so. The increasing presence of Korean industries in Brazil does not mean that the two partners have achieved a comprehensive or strategic relation. The task which lies ahead for Korea and Brazil is to identify their common values and specify how to practically utilize them. This paper aims to examine 50 years of diplomacy between Korea and Brazil and analyze the diplomatic challenges that lie ahead.
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