Korea has embarked on a far-reaching green growth strategy that promises to lay the foundations for a transition from a predominantly 'brown' to a green industrial system. In this paper the key features of the Korean approach to formulating and implementing a green growth strategy are outlined, and the progress achieved so far (2009-2012) is reviewed. Comparisons with China's green development strategy, as embodied in the 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015), present themselves - in that both strategies are concerned with industrial restructuring and the building of new growth engines designed to create export platforms for the 21st century. Reductions in levels of carbon emissions flow from these industrial policy initiatives. The paper concludes that the Korean strategy is carefully crafted and implemented with full government commitment and leadership, demonstrating that such commitment is feasible in a democracy. What cannot be guaranteed is continuing commitment from successive political administrations.