Korean Public Diplomacy in Practice: Dokdo Global Youth Summit
Public Diplomacy (PD) is an important tool that Korea uses in reaching its goals in international politics. One of Korea’s goals is persuading the global community to favor Korea’s position in the territorial dispute with Japan regarding the Dokdo islands. In August 2017 government-supported NGOs conducted an event called “Dokdo Global Youth Summit 2017”(DGYS). As a part of the event more than 100 international students visited Dokdo islands. This study investigates this event, identifying two PD mechanisms that were utilized within this event and demonstrates how they function. Investigation of relevant data reveals that this event, as a part of the PD approach, reached a certain level of success in norm diffusion by increasing legal cases of visiting Dokdo by international students with documents issued by Korean authorities. A further PD mechanism utilized in this event was agenda-setting and rhetoric control which was reflected in topics discussed during the event and the program of the summit. DGYS's success in shaping the opinions of selected publics was limited due to some pre-existent opinions about the issue among selected public and organizational flaws that resulted in misconceptions of the event’s original goal by the international students.