Vulnerability, risk and agroterrorism: an examination of international strategy and its relevance for the Republic of Korea

Stephen Green, Tom Ellis, Jeyong Jung, Julak Lee

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This article explores the under-researched subject of agroterrorism, and how this is being addressed in the Republic of Korea (South Korea). It first outlines the differences between bioterrorism, food terrorism and agroterrorism and why it is becoming increasingly important to focus on risks to farming and the food chain. The article then explores a range of international models of organisational structures and processes designed to counter-agroterrorism in the USA, Australia and UK, based on an analysis of all available open source materials at the time of writing. This provides a critical picture of the understanding of risk,security & preparedness in those three countries against which the South Korean model can be compared. We found that, compared to the mature arrangements in place in the USA and Australia, both the UK and the Republic of Korea have relatively immature strategies to protect farmers, food production and rural communities, focussing only on maintaining alternative safe food sources for consumers. These relatively weak policies essentially ignore the potentially significant social and economic impact of agroterrorism. We conclude by proposing further research, including fieldwork with local communities in the agricultural sector, including first responders, within South Korea. Overall, these findings may help Korean policy makers to consider their current approach within an international perspective and encourage them to consider both national resilience and local interests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-45
Number of pages15
JournalCrime Prevention and Community Safety
Issue number1
Early online date1 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • terrorism
  • argoterrorism
  • South Korea
  • Republic of Korea
  • food chain contamination


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