South Korean Public Diplomacy and Pakistan’s Understanding


To win the hearts and minds of people, the flower of Public Diplomacy has blossomed. In the age of globalization, public diplomacy has emerged as a significant style of diplomacy. As paradigm of diplomatic relations of one state to another has being shifted from ‘hard power’ to ‘soft power’ and the role of public opinion has been considered significant for state policies and international self-image. In this scenario, states use different tools to influence the public domestically as well as globally.

Considering South Korea’s public diplomacy, their goals are well defined and properly managed. Even being a state with a lot of security threats and border crisis, they are formulating their policies by carefully assessing the risks and benefits in their foreign policies. The flourishment of   Information technology have enabled the citizens of state to express themselves on their state’s policies and gave response accordingly. Although South Korea has limited diplomatic resources, still they are focusing to gain the favor of foreign public by all of its means. Their diplomacy is centralized as ‘Four Power Diplomacy’ including Japan, US, China and Russia. They are actively participating as global citizen community’s Network.

In South Korea’s foreign policy, public diplomacy is followed as a new norm because they want to adjust themselves to the changing environment of diplomacy, secondly to overcome limited diplomatic assets, thirdly they want to eliminate the element of weakness in their national image and branding and lastly, they believe that middle power diplomacy needs public diplomacy as a means. They are trying to gain mobilizing support for Korea’s foreign policy. By analyzing Korea’s policies, there main aim is to influence the foreign public through building opposite image of Korea to promote its best self-image and increase the friendly relations of people of Korea with others by using different tools mainly by introducing international educational programs like Korean Governmental Scholarship Programs, cultural exchanges, tours and K-pop including music industry, foods, different skills and professional exchanges while strongly supporting sport spirit all over the world. Recently, Winter Olympics 2018 held in PyeongChang, Korea settled a great example of congruence with North Korean playing team by welcoming them warm heartedly, still being the biggest rival states they behaved harmoniously and paved the path for injecting a soft image at the global level.

South Korea being a smaller state is introducing Public Diplomacy to serve their interest. Here Pakistan needs to learn some lessons and should structure its policies accordingly. There is a need to understand that the global trends has been changed so we should look towards the soft corner in policy making rather than expending a huge amount on hard power by focusing on friendly relations with our neighboring states especially with India as we are border sharing states, are facing common threats like terrorism and environmental consequences. It will lead Pakistan towards the introduction of a best state internationally and help us in showing our real picture to the world as the peace makers and harmonious state.

Maryam Zohra Warraich
Maryam Zohra Warraich
MPhil in International Relations from Quaid e Azam university Islamabad.


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