Contemporary Issues in International Relations: Problems of the International Community

Recent regional and global crises have changed the structure of international relations and cause countries to be inconsistent in their policies. Examples of these include the protest demonstrations and political crises which started in the Middle East and African countries in 2010 known as the ‘Arab Spring’, which had a major effect on Syria, and the movement towards Brexit. These emerging regional and global crises have highlighted the shortcomings of the discipline of international relations and the need for a new, detailed study to be conducted. The topics in this book have been carefully selected in order to provide a more objective assessment of the recent and ongoing problems of the international community.

South Korea as peaceful actor

Korean institutions organize significant programs for foreigners who are engaged in peace and conflict issues. One of these, the KF Korea Workshop, was held in Seoul in July. The program was organized by the East Asia Institute and hosted by the Korea Foundation (KF).

As an academic, I found a chance to participate and received a lot of information from valuable scholars.

In the first session, Prof. Leif-Eric Easley delivered a presentation under the title “Rising Korea: A Middle Power’s Role in Asia and the World.” 

New step to improve Korea-Georgia relations

Georgia has opened a new door in collaboration with Korea, as the country has followed very active diplomacy, especially from 2017 until today, to achieve a perfect relationship. Georgian Ambassador to Korea Otar Berdzenishvili has accomplished a series of missions to introduce his own country from several aspects during his term. As one of the youngest and hardworking diplomats in Seoul, his smart initiatives drew the attention of all Koreans.

Korea-Central Asia ties improve

President Moon Jae-in paid an official visit to Central Asia from April 16 to 23. Summits were held in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan to bolster relations with these countries. This marked his first trip to the region since he took office in 2017.

Strengthening relations with Central Asia has been a priority of Korean foreign policy since the early 1990s. Foreign policy concepts of various presidents, including Roh Moo-hyun, Lee Myung-bak, and Park Geun-hye, aimed to improve relations with Central Asia in the areas of economy and energy resources. President Moon’s New Northern Policy formulation is also emphasizing new prospects between Korea and Central Asia. Therefore, his visit was part of the sustainability of Korean foreign policy implementation in the post-Soviet area which has abundant resources and emerging markets. At this point, Moon’s visit was a crucial turning point in relations because it will lead to $28 billion worth of projects.

Uniqueness of Korea-Uzbekistan relations

The Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) announced that a memorandum of understanding was signed on March 11 with the Namangan regional government of Uzbekistan for developments of its free economic zone. This initiative signals a new emergence in bilateral relations in which Korea and Uzbekistan show a good partnership model to the world.

Along with the recent step, both sides have signed four memorandum of understanding from the last year. According to this, new investments and projects are awaiting to be completed in the near future. On the other side, Uzbekistan announced that Korea is ready to help the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization after a meeting between Paik Ji-ah, ambassador of the Korean Mission in Geneva and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Ilkhom Nematov on March 12.

Iranian Relations with Azerbaijan and Armenia: A Comparative Approach in the Case of Pragmatist Politics

With the increase of the importance of the South Caucasus after the collapse of the Soviet Union, regional and global powers have tried to produce new policies to have a relationship with the counties of the region. The regional countries such as Russia, Turkey, and Iran have more advantageous than other states but the determination of the policies of these states are different from each other. For instance, Iran’s approach is based on pragmatist politics and the country to try to balance its policies in the region in terms of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The main aim of this article is to determine the different aspects of Iranian foreign policy preferences towards Azerbaijan and Armenia in the context of pragmatism.

Uluslararası İlişkilerde Güncel Sorunlar

Her ne kadar Soğuk Savaş’ın sona ermesi uluslararası toplumda kısa süreli bir travmaya neden olsa da teknolojinin gelişmeye başlaması ve artık uluslararası alandaki risklerle beraber tehditlerin çeşitlenmiş olması, uluslararası toplumu Soğuk Savaş’ın bitmesinden daha da derin etkilemeye başlamıştır. Ayrıca ortaya çıkan bu yeni sorunlar, sadece devletleri değil aynı zamanda direkt olarak bireyleri de özellikle ekonomik açıdan etkilemektedir. Bilhassa teknolojik gelişmişlikler, diğer bir deyişle internetin de silah olarak kullanılmaya başlanması, uluslararası toplumu hem siyasi hem askerî hem de ekonomik olarak etkilemeye başlamıştır.

Understanding foreign policy of Korea

Korea is providing a lot of opportunities to social science researchers and analysts with various programs. Recently an influential workshop, titled “Korea Workshop for Foreign Residents in Korea” was held last month through the collaboration of the Korea Foundation and East Asia Institute. 

Korea-Turkey Relations

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid an official visit to Korea to boost bilateral relations on May 2.

During a summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in, both sides underlined the importance of a better relationship as “blood brothers.” Turkey is accepted as a blood brother by Korea because of the unforgettable efforts of Turkish soldiers to protect women and children as well as to sacrifice numerous young soldiers for peace during the 1950-53 Korean War.

Soft Revolution in Armenia

Armenia became a scene of a peaceful revolution on April 23. Serzh Sargsyan, the Prime Minister of the country, was forced to resign by people.

Armenia, a close ally of Russia, was ruled by Serzh Sargsyan for ten years. His political choices included a balanced format between the Western countries and Moscow. As a person from the Nagorno-Karabakh region, disputed between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Sargsyan has been an important figure in the Armenian politics. From the early 1990s, he participated in the invasion process of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani territory, and became a high-rank military officer. His political activities were reinforced after becoming defense minister in Armenia. 

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