In 2003 two emerging markets’ investment analysts predicted that four rapidly developing countries—Brazil, Russia, India, and China, collectively the "BRICs economies"—by 2050 would have eclipsed most of the currently richest countries in the world. This article examines the impact of their rise in relation to Korea’s foreign policy. Strategically and economically, the apparent power shift seems to have led Korea to doubt the validity and viability of the traditional U.S.- Korea relationship based largely on an asymmetrical military alliance. For example, it is China, not the United States, that has consistently played a crucial role in the Six-Party Talks established to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. China also has been Korea’s largest trading partner since 2005, while Russia has abundant natural resources vital to Korea’s energy security. Although the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement signed on April 2007 may help resuscitate bilateral relations, increasing interdependence between Korea and the BRICs, especially China, will make some type of realignment of the Korea-U.S. relationship necessary.


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pp. 205-224
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