Global Agenda Council on Korea 2012-2014


The challenge

With fast-changing regional geopolitical and trade dynamics and ongoing uncertainties for the future of inter-Korean relations, South Korea is undergoing transformations in terms of its demographics (as one of the fastest-ageing societies in the world), which in turn are affecting drastic value shifts and a generational divide. Other drivers affecting the country is the increasing pace of hyperconnectivity, which on the one hand provides new possibilities for innovation, but on the other creates vulnerability to cyber-attacks and individual alienation.

As the new administration continues to promote the vision of a “creative economy”, questions remain whether the country will be able to foster vibrant entrepreneurship and revitalize its small and medium-sized enterprise sector under the current economic structure dominated by (and heavily dependent on) its large conglomerates.

What the Council is doing about it

The Global Agenda Council on Korea has focused on addressing key challenges surrounding geopolitical issues, the country’s continued economic development and its relationship with Japan and China. In the first 12 months, the Council convened a series of discussions to structure a concrete framework for an internal advisory board on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The purpose of the advisory board is to facilitate dialogue, to rebuild trust between the DPRK and those interested in engaging with the country, and provide support for DPRK’s plans to gradually bring in international economic support. The Council will aim to identify the interests of the DPRK and connect them with relevant experts to support its economic transformation. On fostering collaboration between the three North-East Asian economies (Korea, China and Japan), the Council will work closely with existing trilateral platforms such as the North-East Asia Trilateral Forum and other relevant think tanks.

At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014, the Council will work with the Councils on Japan and China to facilitate discussion on fostering closer collaboration among the three countries and to identify key common issues. 

To get involved please contact

Research Analyst: Karen Wong, Associate, Global Agenda Councils, 
Council Manager: Joo-Ok Lee, Senior Community Manager, Asia, 
Forum Lead: Sushant Palakurthi Rao, Senior Director, Head of Asia, 

What we're working on:

A “new model” for engaging North Korea The Politics and International Relations of Modern Korea: Understanding the Politics and Economics of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea, John Swenson-Wright, Taylor & Francis, 5 July, 2010

Asia in the Age of the Pivot: Understanding Asia in the 21st Century, interview with Chung-In Moon

Blog posts by Ruediger Frank

Articles and interviews about South Korean politics and culture particularly from the perspective of the new younger generation on the website of Geun Lee’s Private Think Tank “Miraege”


Document archive for all the issues you are interested in