The Washington Post

Put South Korea in the G-7


Regarding Josh Rogin’s March 10 oped, “In Asia, old enemies share a new reality”:

It’s time to invite South Korea to join the Group of Seven, making it once again the Group of Eight. By the size of its economy, South Korea is now in the top 10 largest democracie­s in the world, ahead of nations including Australia, Brazil and the Russian Federation, according to World Bank data. (Of course, Russia is no longer a real democracy, but it was a member of the G-8 until it annexed Crimea in 2014.)

South Korea is also showing itself to be a good global citizen, as the host nation of the Green Climate Fund and for steadily increasing its official developmen­t assistance (ODA) since it joined the Developmen­t Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organizati­on for Economic Cooperatio­n and Developmen­t in 2010. In 2020, South Korea had the highest share of bilateral ODA for the health sector among all DAC members. Adding South Korea to the G-7 would also improve the geographic balance of the group (four European, two North American and two Asian countries) and remind Russia of what it lost when it invaded Crimea. The current rapprochem­ent between Japan and South Korea should be the icing on the cake for this expanded membership. Chris Gerrard, Rockville

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