Awaiting a Pivotal Partnership? The Case of India and South Korea

Focus Asia June, 2023

The shift toward showcasing South Korea as a proactive stakeholder in the global arena—beyond its foreign policy limitations that have thus far centered on Northeast Asian security—has unlocked the potential for wider regional engagement and the growth of ‘like-minded’ pivotal states with global ambitions such as Australia, India, France, Germany, and Japan. In this great transition phase in the global order, which is facing the ill-effects of a widening ideological divide, India has emerged as one of the most prominent states with a burgeoning global profile and hence a natural partner for the ROK. The new shift has fueled hopes of greater strategic autonomy in the ROK’s decision-making and greater strategic clarity as a pivotal state in the new geopolitical environment. Importantly, it has also renewed confidence in the two economic giants and ‘pivotal states’ coalescing their strengths to build a revitalized middle power coalition taking into account the larger aim of maintaining the stability, prosperity, and security of the Indo-Pacific.

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