Park Geun Hye’s Trustpolitik got off to a rocky start. The concept was first unveiled in English in a piece published in Foreign Affairs in September/October 2011 and elaborated in an important speech in November 2012. (Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se offers a very concise exposition for Global Asia.) Trustpolitik served a crucial political function for […]
Earlier this month someone made a terroristic threat against South Korean National Assembly member Ha Tae Keung, known in English to some as Young Howard. His office received a package sent from China containing a skull mask and a slashed t-shirt which had been painted with death threats against Ha and his family. Full details […]
The North Korean nuclear program is back in the news with reports of the restart of the Yongbyon reactor. Last week, TNS polled South Koreans on their views of the North’s nuclear program. The results (above) show a large majority believe there is little chance that the North will give up its nuclear effort, and reveal little consensus as to the best way to try and halt it.
Charm works. That seems to be the message of SERI’s 2013:3 Korean Peninsula Security survey. The composite index of peninsular security rose to 48 (i.e. close to neutral) after hitting an all-time (i.e. back to 2005) low of 40 during the previous quarter. Sub-indices relating to North Korea’s external relations surged back from their all-time […]
Over the weekend, the North Koreans canceled the family reunions involving 100 North Koreans and 96 South Koreans scheduled for September 25-30 (Choe Sang-Hun for the New York Times; Yonhap). The statement issued by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (CPRF) contained a laundry list of grievances, from hostile statements by South […]
There is a broad consensus within South Korea with regard to expanding inter-Korean cooperation projects, but some interesting differences across groups of respondents according to polling done by TNS Korea. The poll asked respondents whether they expected inter-Korean relations to improve under President Park Geun-hye. Given how badly relations had deteriorated during the administration of […]
Unpacking some material that I had hauled back from the East-West Center at the end of August, I stumbled across a notated copy of the Bank of Korea’s report on the North Korean economic performance in 2012. Oops. Well, better late than never. The bottom line is that while North Korea appears to be muddling through there are reasons for concern. Maybe that’s why they are making nice.
According to a Ministry of Unification statement summarized by Yonhap, operations are set to resume next week at the Kaesong Industrial Complex after a five-month hiatus. As expected, North Korea made some relatively minor concessions on taxation issues. According to Yonhap, “Under the deal, South Korean firms will be exempt from paying taxes for the […]
There can be little question that Pyongyang is making nice to the Park administration. Will this build into something more substantial on the North-South front? How do these moves fit into the larger diplomatic game? Before getting too hopeful, it is important to remember that the initiatives to date involve a costless and long-overdue gesture […]
I am leaving for vacation, and at this juncture, there is no official translation of the North-South Korea Agreement to Normalize the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC). So what follows is Jaesung Ryu’s unofficial translation and a few comments from me in red. Agreement to Normalize the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) The South and the North, […]