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South Korea

Ranked 7 of 26 for comprehensive power, with an overall score of 29.5 out of 100.

Lost 0.5 points (−2% change) in overall score in 2023.


South Korea is a middle power in Asia.

Its overall score declined by 0.5 points in 2022.

South Korea’s strongest measure continues to be defence networks, where it places fourth, the result of its extensive defence cooperation with treaty ally the United States.

South Korea ranks fifth in three measures — economic capability, military capability, and economic relationships — reflecting its role as one of the largest and most prosperous countries in Asia.

South Korea’s weakest measure is resilience, where it ranks tenth, a three-place decline from the 2021 edition of the Asia Power Index. This decline is a result of the country’s weakening resource security.

South Korea exerts more influence in the region than expected given its available resources, as indicated by the country’s positive power gap score. While South Korea is a net overachiever in Asia, its positive power gap continued to deteriorate in 2022.

Read more analysis in the Key Findings report. Explore further results in the Scores section.

Bilateral Influence

Bilateral trade, current dollars (2020)

Countries that influence South Korea

Globally, which countries does South Korea do most of its trade with?

China 27.9%

United States 13.5%

European Union 10.5%

Japan 7.3%

Vietnam 7.0%

Countries influenced by South Korea

Which countries in the region rely most on trade with South Korea?

Vietnam 12.3%

China 6.2%

Philippines 6.1%

Taiwan 5.7%

Japan 5.6%