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09 May 2022

Podcast examines the road ahead for incoming president

The incoming president of South Korea could look to align his government more closely with the US and western partners as he prepares to take office this week, according to a King’s academic.

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Professor Ramon Pacheco Pardo appeared a New Statesman podcast. Picture: STOCK IMAGE

Professor Ramon Pacheco Pardo believes Yoon Suk-yeol could shift his foreign policy to work more closely with the US and members of the Quad nations [Australia, India, Japan and the US] instead of seeking to strike more of a balance between the West and China like his predecessor, Moon Jae-in.

Yoon Suk-yeol will officially take office on 10 May following a close-fought election campaign that saw him defeat the Democratic Party’s Lee Jae-myung.

Professor Pacheco Pardo said: “What South Korea I think is going to be doing is being more vocal in its criticism of China, for example in human rights issues, Xinjian, Hong Kong, Tibet which president Moon wasn’t very keen speaking out on.

“Secondly, Yoon has indicated that he is going to work more closely with the Quad, that potentially Korea could join the Quad and this is something that the previous president wasn’t very keen on.”

Professor Pacheco Pardo, head of the Department of European and International Studies, was speaking to Emily Tamkin for the New Statesman’s World Review podcast. You can listen to the podcast in full here.

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Ramon Pacheco Pardo

Head of the Department of European & International Studies and Professor of International Relations