Friday 30 Sep 2022 | 12:21 | SYDNEY
Friday 30 Sep 2022 | 12:21 | SYDNEY

Rudd gets kudos from Korea


Malcolm Cook

12 July 2010 15:25

I enjoyed the story Sam linked to concerning German bemusement about Kevin Rudd's sudden downfall. Last week, I was in Seoul and ran into very similar sentiments from senior government and ruling party people I met.

There was a clear sense that they firmly believed Rudd had been good for bilateral relations and that he and President Lee (who was almost toppled just months into his term) had built up a very good personal relationship based on a similar 'middle power' outlook.

Rudd and his government should be congratulated for forging stronger ties with South Korea, including the signing of a wide-ranging joint declaration on security and global cooperation and starting FTA negotiations with Australia's third largest export market. Hopefully Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott can build on this strong foundation after the upcoming election here.

If not, the sudden change of leadership in Australia could mean a loss of momentum with a key regional partner led by one of Asia's most impressive serving leaders. On this last point, here is the link to President Lee's keynote presentation at this year's Shangri-La Dialogue.