The recent trend of rapid growth in the scientific and engineering activities in East Asian Newly Industrializing Economies (NIEs) resulted in a change in the structure of world knowledge production. In South Korea, particularly, not only the numbers of publications have increased, but there is a noticeable change in the composition of scientific and engineering activities. This paper notes the most of the research on the knowledge production of advanced countries, along with a handful of studies about the knowledge production of latecomers. Recent changes in the patterns of knowledge production in latecomer countries provoke the deeper understanding about the underlying mechanisms of ongoing change. Therefore, this paper explores the patterns of knowledge production activities in latecomers by analyzing scientific and engineering capabilities using empirical evidence from Korea. The results suggest that the patterns of accumulation of knowledge production in Korea gradually evolved from engineering to scientific activities. Important policy implications can be drawn from the findings for supporting scientific and engineering research activity in the latecomers in general and NIEs in particular.