Australia-Republic of Korea Foreign Policy, Defence and Security Dialogue


Asialink, in collaboration with Ajou University and the Australian chapter of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, convened a three-hour, closed-door online dialogue examining the geopolitical and security trends facing Australia and the Republic of Korea in the Indo-Pacific region on July 15th, 2021.

Against the background of US-China competition, the strategic options for middle powers such as Australia and the ROK are becoming more limited.  Both Australia and the ROK also share concerns over the preservation of the rules-based international order and challenges to multilateral cooperation in the region.

The first session of the event focused on the common strategic challenges faced by Australia and Korea. Chaired by Dr. Lauren Richardson of the Korea Institute at ANU, the panel featured Director of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at ANU, Prof. Brendan Sargent, the President of the Sejong Institute, Mr. Lee Sang-Hyun, and senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Defence Analysis, Dr. Boo Hyeong-Wook.

The second session of the event focused on the rules-based global order, and was moderated by Dr. Rebecca Strating, the Executive Direction of La Trobe Asia. The panel was composed of the Director of the Rules-Based Order Project at the Lowy Institute, Ben Scott, Asialink International Director Anthony Milner, Chair of the Advisory Commission at the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Prof. Chun Chaesung, and Korea University Professor Lee Shin-Wha.

The third and final session discussed Australia-Korea bilateral relations, and was chaired by former Korean Ambassador to Australia Prof. Kim Woo-Sang. Featured on the panel was Chair of the Australia-Korea Business Council Critical Minerals Sub-Committee, Clare Pope, former Ambassador to Korea Bill Paterson, Professor of Foreign Studies at Hankuk University, Prof. Park Jae-Jok, and Director-General of Hanwha Defence Australia, Cho Richard.

The dialogue was supported through the Australia-Korea Foundation at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.