South Korea's New Southern Policy (NSP) is commonly viewed as Seoul's hedging strategy to respond to intensifying US-China strategic competition. Such a view essentially takes an extrinsic approach treating Southeast Asia as a means to South Korea's larger foreign policy ends. However, the NSP can also be viewed as Seoul's Southeast Asia policy, which is about its relations with the region. Such an intrinsic perspective leads to the question of whether the NSP constitutes a clear policy shift. I propose using two distinct frameworks which are centered on resources and assumptions to assess whether the NSP represents change or continuity in Seoul's approach to Southeast Asia. The findings suggest that the NSP represents a dramatic change in terms of resources devoted to its engagement with Southeast Asia, but Seoul's Southeast Asia policy has remained unchanged in terms of the underlying assumptions about the nature of its relations with the region.
II. Frameworks: Resources versus Assumptions
III. The Background of the NSP
IV. Resource-Centered Assessment
V. Assumption-Centered Assessment