Open Forum

For the last three decades, since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the perception of South Korea in Russia has been generally positive. This has been true with respect to Russia’s general public and the political-expert community as well as the mass media. Such favorable attitudes have much to do with the fact that Russia and Korea have never had serious conflicts and disputes, since the 40-year period of the Cold War when Seoul was the US ally against the Soviet Union in the Asia-Pacific, but blame centered on Washington. If there is any memory politics between Russia and the Republic of Korea (ROK), it has little negativity. Contemporary South Korea is seen by the Russians as an advanced economy with cutting-edge technological achievements. For some Russians, especially youngsters, there is the additional charm of K-Pop’s soft power. In Russia’s policy and expert circles, the ROK is also viewed as a potential contributor to the development of the Russian Far East and a player capable of facilitating Russia’s pivot to Asia.

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