|This paper suggests that South Korea’s middle power identity can take on a more distinctive shape, and fulfill concrete goals, if it adopts a model of agenda-partner based leadership in which it demonstrates agenda-setting capabilities in tandem with strategic partner selection. Its middle power initiatives have been one way for South Korea to promote its national interests amidst a volatile geopolitical environment. However, its present middle power track has often lacked direction and sophistication. This is largely due to poor agenda selection, oftentimes choosing agendas that are too broad in scope or too rigid to coordinate with potential partners. Refining South Korea’s middle power diplomacy by directing resources to specific agendas, and collaborating with selective partners, will not only enable South Korea to secure a niche among myriad agendas, but also make it possible to build strategic, as opposed to tactical, coalitions.