Considerable attention focused last week on the visit to Pyongyang by Isao Iijima, special assistant to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. As I observed in a post last week, the Japanese public places marginally greater concern on abductees than on the North Korean nuclear program and the abductee issue has been a focal point of [...]
I do not know what motivated the North Koreans to repeatedly threaten the US over the last couple of months, but I do know what the effect has been: the threats greatly narrow the Obama Administration’s options going forward, especially with respect to any action that would require Congressional approval. It is particularly difficult for [...]
In 2012, the Human Rights Foundation created a new prize with a doubly-great title: the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent. Why doubly great? Because we always admired Havel and because the idea of “creative dissent” captures so well the difficult, David vs. Goliath nature of resistance to tyrannical regimes. Asia was strongly represented in [...]
While the Park-Obama summit has rightly been seen as a success so far, it was preceded by one small diplomatic failure: the inability of the two sides to reach agreement on a new nuclear cooperation or “123” agreement (after the relevant section of the 1954 Atomic Energy Act). The existing agreement does not lapse until [...]
Part II of Marcus Noland’s Peterson Perspectives interview can be found here. The interview is also streaming below. In the interview, Noland continues discussing the relevant topics associated with President Park’s Washington visit.
Part I of Marcus Noland’s Peterson Perspectives interview on the Korea-US Summit can be found here. In the interview, Noland discusses South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s visit to the U.S. and the many pressing issues that will surely be part of the agenda as she meets with President Obama and the Congress.
We were recently asked by a reporter whether it was possible that products from Kaesong are leaking into Korea’s trade with third countries. We were initially dismissive, and then decided that we actually didn’t know. What does Kaesong export, anyway? And where is final demand? The data we present here are pretty aggregated (the so-called [...]
In our post from last Friday, we discussed central deterrence on the Korean peninsula: the ability of the United States and the ROK to deter both a first nuclear strike and a large-scale conventional attack. We raised questions about whether the use of strategic or even tactical nuclear weapons were even credible, and emphasized the [...]
At the end of last week, there was mounting evidence that the Park Geun-hye government was trying to lower the temperature on the peninsula and that humanitarian assistance would play a central role. On Thursday, Minister of Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae made the mistake of admitting that the closure of Kaesong was causing pain to [...]
In any contest of resolve, weaker parties seek to show they can bear costs. If that signal was missed by anyone over the last several weeks, Kim Jong Un has just delivered it again. A statement by Kim Yang Gon, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, announced the withdrawal of [...]