South Korea has been ranked the sixth biggest power in the Asia-Pacific region still dominated by the U.S.
The Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank, released its 2019 Asia Power Index on Wednesday. The U.S. topped the list with a score of 84.5, the same as last year, followed by China, which scored 75.9 points and narrowed the gap by 1.4 points. South Korea scored 32.7 points.
The institute ranks 25 nations in Asia and Pacific-rim countries like the U.S. and Australia in categories such as military capability, economic resources, and diplomatic influence.
The U.S. and China are classed as "superpowers", while Japan and India qualify as "major powers" with 42.5 points and 41 points in third and fourth.
The countries in fifth (Russia with 35.4 points) through 17th (the Philippines with 13.7 points) are classed as "middle powers". Eight countries with less than 10 points, including last-ranked Nepal with a mere 4.7 points, are classed as minor powers.
North Korea finished 16th with 14 points, but moved up a notch from last year.
"South Korea's lowest ranking in 11th place occurs in the "Resilience" measure, reflecting the country's continued and inherent geopolitical vulnerability dealing with its nuclear-armed neighbor", the institute said.
Japan has become the "leader of liberal order in Asia" as "the quintessential smart power using the country's limited resources to wield broad-based influence in the region", it said.
As for India, the institute predicted that while it is "the only country with demographic scale to match China, it will not be the next China".
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"S.Korea Named 6th Biggest Power in Asia-Pacific"
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