Market profile – Democratic People's Republic of Korea – For Australian exporters - Austrade
The relationship between Australia and South Korea has been mostly Both states are formally allied with the United States, yet their number. After bilateral relations formally ceased in , in the government resisted requests from both the United States and North Korea to. The growing Australian-South Korean strategic relationship is fundamentally underpinned by their common alignment with the United States.
Australia and the ROK are allies with the United States and both have made significant and practical contributions to efforts to strengthen regional security and stability, such as sending troops to Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor and conducting counter-piracy operations. Cooperation between Australia and the ROK on international affairs has reinforced our strong trade relationship. History An independent Korean state or group of Korean states has existed almost continuously for several millennia.
Between its initial unification in the 7th century — from the three kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla — untilKorea existed as a single independent country. From tothe Korean peninsula was subject to Japanese colonial rule. Following Japan's defeat in World War II, Korea was temporarily divided into two zones of occupation, with the United States administering the southern half of the peninsula and the Soviet Union administering the area north of the 38th parallel.
Initial plans to unify the Peninsula under a single government quickly dissolved due to domestic opposition and the politics of the Cold War. An armistice in ended the fighting but a more comprehensive peace agreement has not been negotiated. Political overview Government and administration Since its establishment inthe ROK has maintained a presidential system except briefly when a parliamentary system was in place between June and May Under the presidential system, power is shared by three branches: The president holds supreme power over all executive functions of government, within the constraints of the constitution.
The president appoints public officials, including the prime minister with the approval of the National Assemblyministers who do not need to be members of the National Assembly and the heads of executive agencies. The president is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The president is limited to serving a single five-year term. Legislative power is vested in the unicameral National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, comprising members elected for a four-year term.
The current National Assembly includes members elected by popular vote, with the remaining 47 seats distributed proportionately among political parties according to a second, preferential ballot.
A regular legislative session, limited to days, is convened once a year. Extraordinary sessions, limited to 30 days, may be convened at the request of the president or at least 25 per cent of the Assembly members.
Several extraordinary sessions are usually held each year.
The most recent National Assembly election was held on 13 April By virtue of geography and economic influence, relations with the major powers — China, the United States, Japan and Russia — remain the most important foreign policy priorities for the ROK, after its relationship with the DPRK. Over time, the ROK has actively sought to diversify its diplomatic and trade links and has made considerable efforts to ensure itself a place in the international community commensurate with its economic status.
Bilateral relations Australia and the ROK are natural partners as democracies with complementary economies and common strategic interests. The first recorded contact between Australia and Korea took place inwhen Australian missionaries landed at Busan. Australian photographer George Rose travelled the length of the peninsula in and photographed the country and people. Today, his images of everyday Korean life, clothing and customs form a valuable part of Korea's documentary history.
Approximately 17, Australian troops served under UN command and Australians died during the Korean War. Australia and the ROK established full diplomatic relations in In JuneAustralia opened an Embassy in Seoul. Since then, strong economic, political and strategic connections have grown between Australia and the ROK.
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People-to-people links, supported by a large and growing Australian Korean community, are strong and growing, and the bilateral trade and investment relationship is complementary, longstanding and robust.
Marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the governments of Australia and the ROK designated as a "Year of Friendship" and links were further enhanced in by Australia's participation in the World Expo in Yeosu on the ROK's south coast.
This Memorandum provides a framework for greater cooperation on development assistance. Both countries are working together to explore ways to develop practical collaboration, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific and strengthened development effectiveness. Security cooperation Australia and the ROK share key security interests in North Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, with peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula critical to the economic performance and security of both countries.
Australia–North Korea relations
Both support a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and regard the continued commitment of the United States to the Indo-Pacific as critical to stability and prosperity in the region.
We did participate in the investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan, and could again contribute to international monitoring and verification processes that will clearly need to be part of any denuclearization settlement — or steps on the way like an agreed freeze on weapons and delivery system development, and fissile material production. I should say in relation to the forthcoming summitry that it is an enormous credit to President Moon Jae-in and his officials that things have come as far and as fast as they have, with the Olympics initiative followed by some very deft diplomacy in creating the conditions for President Trump to be able to agree — as impetuous, unexpected and uninformed by knowledge and advice as his agreement undoubtedly was — to meet with Kim Jong-un.
While there is intense uncertainty and nervousness about how things will unfold in the weeks ahead, I have always believed, incorrigible optimist that I am, that a sustainable deal is doable with Pyongyang, as ugly and indifferent to normal ethical constraints as the regime undoubtedly is, and I am reinforced in that view after two days of discussions, including with senior officials close to the Blue House, in Seoul last month.
But the trouble is that whereas Reagan had around him grounded and competent people like George Shultz and James Baker to save him from himself, Trump now has Mike Pompeo — and, most alarmingly of all for anyone who has had any dealings at all with him, as I have — John Bolton, with Defence Secretary Mattis the only remaining adult anywhere near the room.
He is a relentlessly stubborn and destructive ideologue: So we are going to be on the edge of our seats for a good while yet. While Australia cannot expect to be more than a bit-player on all these North Korea issues, I am persuaded that there is a great deal we can and should be doing together with South Korea in the general area of middle power diplomacy.
Australia–South Korea relations
Making this point will require me to say something first about what I mean by middle powers and middle power diplomacy. There is no standard list of current middle powers, or any commonly agreed list of objective measures — like population size, GDP, or military budgets — distinguishing middle powers from others. The characteristic motivation is belief in the utility, and necessity, of acting cooperatively with others in addressing international challenges, particularly those global or regional public goods problems which by their nature cannot be solved by any country acting alone, however big and powerful.
The contributions middle powers, so acting, can make to better international relations include: How effective middle powers can be in making a difference depends on a number of factors, including: Allies of great powers, like Australia, have to be perceived as having some real independence — not just acting as a cipher or stalking horse for a protector; and opportunity: While recognising the reality of limited opportunity, let me offer nonetheless three examples where the middle powers of this region — very much including Australia and South Korea — could, in my judgement, have a significant impact.
First, in setting the agenda for the East Asian Summit, which has all the ingredients to become the preeminent regional dialogue and policy-making body, containing as it now does all the major regional players including now the United States and Russiameeting at leader-level, and mandated to address both economic and political issues.
Its eighteen members include a majority of middle powers — most of the ASEANs, Australia and South Korea and New Zealand could also be so described, because of its tradition of multilateral activism.
Australian Financial Review
Second, in visibly pushing back against excessive Chinese assertiveness and overreach, including in the South China Sea. While China manifestly does not want to provoke violent conflict anywhere, it is clearly intent on recreating as much of the historic, hegemonic, tributary relationship with its southern, and perhaps eastern, neighbours as it can get away with, and a united front of middle powers might be more effective in resisting this than relying on an increasingly erratic United States.
But I am much more attracted, in this context, to developing a such a united front grouping which would harness the collective middle-power energy and capacity of a number of regional states of real regional substance — in which, for example, India, Australia and Japan would be joined by South Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Third, some of us are in a position to influence the global nuclear weapons elimination debate, and should do more than we have. There is a big job to be done in bridging the gap between those who, on the one hand, will settle only for the kind of absolutism embodied in the Nuclear Ban Treaty, and on the other hand, the nuclear armed states and those sheltering under their protection who want essentially no movement at all on disarmament.
Working for a meaningful and achievable half way house solution, with a credible — not incredible — road map towards ultimate elimination, is a task in which Australia and Korea can both be quintessentially important players.
Raw economic and political power will always count for a lot in international affairs. But it does not count for everything. Middle powers with a sense of where they want to go, and with the credibility, resources, and energy to follow through, can have a major impact in making this region and the wider world safer and saner.