South Korea ranked sixth last year in the "world's most powerful country" survey, which combines military, economic and diplomatic power.
The US News & World Report (USNWR) announced the ranking of the 2022 planet’s most powerful countries on Dec. 31, 2022 (local time).
According to the survey, the U.S. ranked first in the most powerful country. China and Russia were followed by 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
On the U.S., the USNWR said, “The United States of America is a North American nation that is the world’s most dominant economic and military power. Likewise, its cultural imprint spans the world, led in large part by its popular culture expressed in music, movies and television.
“The country is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing deep economic recession. And calls for greater social justice reignited in the country following the death of Black American George Floyd at the hands of police in May 2020. Public demands to address racial inequality in the country, expressed in institutions such as the criminal justice system and health care, spurred similar movements in countries around the world.”
On China, it reported, “China has been one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies since former leader Deng Xiaoping installed reforms in 1978. A single-party socialist state, China has since moved from being a centrally planned to a market-based economy. China’s economy is the world’s second- largest, trailing only the United States.
“China’s rapid economic development poses several domestic challenges, including balancing population growth with its natural resources, a growing income inequality and a substantial rise in pollution across the country. The World Bank notes that while the sustained economic growth has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, China remains a developing country with many people still living below the nation’s official poverty level.”
In case of Russia, which ranked third, it mentioned, “Russia has one of the world’s largest economies that is powered by its extensive natural resources. Top industries include oil and natural gas production, with agriculture, forestry, fishing and manufacturing serving as other economic drivers. Oil and natural gas, in particular, represent large portions of the country’s economy. Russia also is one of the world’s largest exporters of military weapons, trailing only the United States.”
Germany ranked fourth and Britain ranked fifth. Korea ranked sixth after them.
As for South Korea, it noted, “South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a nation in eastern Asia that occupies the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula and has a long history of conflict.
“Liberated from Japan in 1945 at the end of World War II, South Korea was invaded by communist forces in North Korea several years later. Aid from the United Nations helped end the three-year war and support the south on its path to democracy. A critical divide between the two nations along the center of the peninsula remains.
“South Korea’s high-tech, service-based economy is a foreign investment success story, becoming the first recipient of OECD Development Assistance Committee funds to later become a donor of the funds. The nation has seen steady growth and poverty reduction since the 1960s and is now among the world’s largest economies overall.
“The country’s capital, Seoul, is located near the center of the Korean Peninsula, chosen as such during the Joseon dynasty (1392-1897) for its impressive feng shui – the idea that the positioning of objects ensures health and harmony. It is home to the headquarters of Samsung, Hyundai and Kia, representing two of South Korea’s important exports: technology and cars.
“South Korea has one of the world’s largest gross national savings and reserves of foreign investment. Disposable household income has increased in recent years, and the country’s large upper class is keen to spend their money on “brand name” items and products.
“South Korea’s culture is rooted heavily in the humanist ideology of Confucianism. Today, Christianity is the prominent religion with Buddhism as a close second. South Korea faces the challenge of an aging population. Residents are afforded universal health care and mandatory education through middle school.
“Visitors can explore the country’s temperate climate, sweeping hills and mountains, and wide coastal plains, along with 13 UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Sites.
“South Korea is a member of many international organizations, including the United Nations, G-20, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum and World Trade Organization.
France ranked seventh, Japan ranked eighth, United Arab Emirates ranked ninth, and Israel ranked 10th. Japan ranked sixth last year, but it was found that it moved down two steps by changing its position with Korea.
The country that received the most attention in the survey was Ukraine that rose vertically from 33rd to 14th in the previous year.
On Ukraine, it said, "Ukraine is receiving tremendous political and military support from countries including the EU and NATO, as well as the United States, and are widely celebrated by resistance to Russia. Population, cities and industries have been destroyed by invasion and it will take decades to rebuild."
The survey is published annually by the USNWR, which surveys 17,000 people in 85 countries around the world, on national influence, including political, economic, and military power.