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Korea has been aware of the humanitarian and national significance of the Arctic and Antarctic since before the millennium. On the one hand, Korea has strived in the field of scientific research by joining the Antarctic Treaty System. On the other hand, Korea has promoted various economic cooperation with the Arctic nations. Korea joined the Antarctic Treaty System in 1986, established the Antarctic King Sejong Station in 1988, established the Arctic Dasan Station in Ny-Ålesund, Norway in 2002, and joined the Svalbard Treaty in 2012. Furthermore, Korea has participated in summits with the Arctic nations since 2008. In 2012, President Lee, Myung-Bak visited Russia, Greenland, and Norway to promote cooperation over the Northern Sea Route, shipbuilding, and energy resources, among other things. Behind the government actions over Polar activities lie government policies and plans, such as the Basic Plan of Antarctic Research (2007-2011, 2012-2016), Measures for the Advancement of Polar Region Policy (2012), Comprehensive Arctic Plan (2013), and Korean Arctic Master Plan (2013). This article will focus on the background to Korea’s 2013 Basic Plan for Arctic Policy, and the remaining tasks that now lie before the Korean government.

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