Despite inflated pre-summit expectations that US President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un would sign a deal involving at least some sanctions relief, liaison offices, an end of war declaration, and agreement for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear facilities, the fact that Hanoi
South Korea has a national holiday on the first day of March to commemorate the start of the 1919 March First Movement. A century later, the legacy of the movement still resonates in both North and South Korea.
In South Korea, the constitution which had been established in 1919 by the
Appealing to South Korea with proposals of peaceful unification, while at the same time demonising foreigners occupying the Korean Peninsula, is one of the oldest pages in Pyongyang’s rhetorical playbook.
Pyongyang is clearly painting a picture for Seoul that relations going forward could come
South Korean President Moon Jae-in recently shook up his cabinet. In particular, his controversial chief of staff, Im Jeong-seok, stepped down. The growing impression in South Korea is that Moon is more concerned with relations with North Korea than with domestic issues.
Certainly, it appears that
Almost two weeks have passed since Kim Jong-un delivered his 2019 New Year Address. He informed the world of his intention to capitalise on his diplomatic victories to enhance North Korea’s international status. He also expressed his willingness to continue the détente with South Korea and
Bringing sustainable peace to the Korean Peninsula. Improving South Korea’s long-term economic prospects. Helping Seoul to shape regional geopolitics. South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s “New Northern Policy” is an ambitious strategy designed to achieve these three goals.
This is why Moon
South Korea has denied refugee status to the hundreds of Yemeni asylum seekers, most of whom are male, that arrived in Jeju in the first half of 2018.
Public opinion in South Korea remains largely negative to refugees more broadly, as seen in the backlash in 2013 to becoming the first country in
Sister, why mad? Blame system, not men. I am feminist.
A song released recently by Korean rapper San E has touched a nerve in South Korea. The controversial song “Feminist” critiques Korea’s dating culture, beauty standards and the gender pay gap, which he calls a “f---ing fake fact”.
One of the most commented upon elements of this year’s outreach effort toward North Korea is the possible drift in the US-South Korean alliance.
It has been widely noted that the US is tightly focused on nuclear weapons and missiles, seeking a narrow arms control deal. The US would clearly be
A recent New York Times article has drawn much criticism from the US intelligence community for depicting North Korea’s continued missile development as “a Great Deception.”
Analysts have responded by proclaiming that North Korea has never agreed to cease its missile and nuclear
The informal grouping of Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, Australia, known as MIKTA, was once called a new dynamic in diplomacy – a new form of middle power activism and the newest acronym in global governance.
But at five years old, it’s less dynamic and less active, and no longer
In the last six months, US President Donald Trump has “fallen in love” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He has also been persuaded that Kim respects him, likely because he called him “your excellency” in his “beautiful letters”. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has claimed Trump
The past two years have been full of unexpected twists and stalled promises in the relationship between North Korea and South Korea, as well as their ties with the United States.
Yet Wednesday seemed to mark a major breakthrough in inter-Korean relations, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Kim
The 12 June Singapore Summit has aged badly, as the declaration signed by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un has proven as useless as most analysts imagined. Consequently, the current US-North Korea diplomatic process is disintegrating under the weight of the parties’ misaligned
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday for three days of talks with North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un, with denuclearisation and the establishment of a permanent peace regime on the agenda.
What is striking about this third Moon-
By now, most people in South Korea know the national team’s victory over Japan in the Asian Games football tournament secured not just the gold medal, but also an exemption from military service for Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min. The win also brought global attention to a simmering
South Korea’s transformation from a war ravaged, poor and undeveloped country to be now ranked by the World Bank as the 12th largest economy globally has been accompanied by extraordinary social change at home. The greatest challenge is the decline of the national
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has initiated a major overhaul of the Defense Security Command, a military intelligence unit, in the wake of revelations about its politicisation during the impeachment process last year of former president Park Geun-Hye. This scandal has roiled
The border separating North and South Korea remains one of the most heavily armed in the world. Surrounded by thickets of barbed wire, Korea’s misleadingly named Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) stretches about 250 kilometres across the peninsula. It is monitored ceaselessly, a stark reminder of the
Last week, the South Korean Blue House announced preparations for another summit – what will be the third – between President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un in the northern autumn. Both Seoul and Pyongyang have sent ministers to discuss topics
One recent Saturday in August, in the middle of a heatwave with the temperature hitting 35 degrees, 70,000 women gathered in the streets of Seoul. The numbers were unprecedented, but the action wasn’t. They have been staging regular rallies since May, in what has been called the biggest recorded
The music industries in Japan and South Korea are entwining. K-pop idols can successfully sell albums in Japan, and Japanese singers can join K-pop groups. However, in a reflection of national rivalries, there will always be friction between the two competing industries.
K-pop has enjoyed a boom
Moon Jae-In has been president of South Korea for fifteen months so far. On the whole, he is a marked improvement on his predecessor, Park Geun-Hye.
President Park was, of course, impeached and removed. For that alone she will go down in the history books as a poor president. Bizarrely, Park
Just as South Korea is an ally of the US yet doesn’t fully trust President Donald Trump, North Korea deals with Russia but does not completely trust Moscow. Pyongyang remembers well that North Korean gastarbeiters (guest workers) were once deported from Russia, and
Reactions in the US and South Korea have differed sharply since US President Donald Trump met North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un last month in Singapore. (The president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo call Kim “chairman”, because he governs as the chairman of the State Affairs
The massive Yongsan Garrison in central Seoul has seen a near-continuous presence of foreign military since the Korean Peninsula was annexed by the Japanese in 1910. Prior to that, it housed troops from the Qing Dynasty who had been sent to help the last rulers of Joseon put down peasant rebellions
The Trump–Kim summit in Singapore was the first step towards persuading North Korea to join the few countries that have relinquished nuclear weapons. It also presents the best chance since the Clinton administration’s breakthroughs in 2000 to normalise relations.
The Trump–Kim summit last week in Singapore was a nothingburger – not good or bad, just nothing new really at all.
After months of hype, including grossly inflated talk of CVID (complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament) and a Nobel prize, US President Donald Trump’s meeting with North
North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un scored a huge diplomatic victory on Tuesday when he finally got the chance to hold a summit with US President Donald Trump, a feat his grandfather and father never achieved.
In addition to the credit Kim and Trump received for their courageous acts, South
This month, I was in Australia for events hosted by the Lowy Institute and Sydney Writers’ Festival respectively. The questions were excellent, and I would like to take advantage of this space to expand on some of the topics brought up.
Generally speaking, the questions at
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s charm offensive continues with his first meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the Demilitarized Zone on Friday. At the end of the third Inter-Korean summit, the two leaders inked the Panmunjom Declaration to show their commitment to the
In just over a week, President of South Korea Moon Jae-in will sit with his northern counterpart, Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un, at Panmunjom, the historic site of the 1953 armistice, for the third instalment of the inter-Korean summit (to be broadcast live).
The summit will occur
In the wake of the attempt on the life of Sergei Skripal, the ex-Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia in Britain, practically all Western countries joined to expel select Russian diplomats. This, however, was not the case with Japan and South Korea.
Perhaps more than any other countries, Japan and
Since the first days of 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has undertaken a series of diplomatic activities whose scope and significance are rivalled only by his missile and nuclear tests.
The fact that Kim made his first overseas trip to China, attended a K-pop performance in Pyongyang,
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet for the first time on 27 April at Panmunjom, the “truce” village on the border of the two countries.
The rapidly changing security environment on the Korean Peninsula has reached a critical juncture.
Later this month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. This is the third inter-Korean summit since the days of the Sunshine Policy – an approach of open dialogue with North Korea from 1998 to 2008. That effort earned a Nobel Peace Prize, but previous
The ripple effects of Hollywood’s #MeToo movement are starting to be felt around the world, including in South Korea where a governor and potential presidential candidate has been forced to step down after being accused of rape. He is only one of many men named since late January, as Korean
Now that the PyeongChang Winter Olympics is over, both South and North Korea can be satisfied with what they gained from the sporting event.
South Korea’s Moon Jae-in administration scored a major diplomatic victory with the attendance of Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, at the&
A battle is underway between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in over their differing approaches to North Korea. They are competing to shape the attitudes of US President Donald Trump, and this contest has been a compelling sideshow at the PyeongChang Winter
It was a difficult Christmas for the community dedicated to K-pop, the South Korean music genre that in recent years has become an international phenomenon. On 18 December 2017 the lead singer of influential K-pop band SHINee was found unconscious in a hotel, and was later declared dead in
If the Cold War was one long arms race, the modern era could be accurately described as an arms jog. Countries are defined less by how many nuclear warheads they have, and more by what they can do with them. This is particularly the case in Australia’s immediate region, where a
The resumption of dialogue between North and South Korea after a two-year hiatus marks a step back from nuclear brinkmanship and a diplomatic victory for South Korea’s Moon Jae-in’s engagement policy. Pyongyang has agreed to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics and revive cross-border
After North Korea burnished its credentials last year as a nuclear-armed state, there's been much discussion about what Pyongyang aims to do with its nuclear missiles. The panic in the western media has been palpable. But so is the contrast with the South Korean media's more sanguine response. I
'When caught in a fight between whales, a shrimp gets his back broken.' This old Korean proverb has been used to describe Korea being stuck between great power rivalries. As Chinese-US competition intensifies, Seoul is now struggling not to have its back broken, navigating between two whales.
In recent years, maritime disputes have become highly visible microcosms of broader contests in the Indo-Pacific region. While much attention has been paid to disputes in the South China and East China Sea, a lower profile dispute has bubbled away for years between South Korea and Japan over a
This has been a rollercoaster year for the Korean Peninsula. The South Koreans impeached their president. The North Koreans tested dozens of rockets, including intercontinental ballistic missiles. The US President repeatedly threatened war, possible nuclear war, against the North. And some
By David Vallance, an intern in the Lowy Institute's International Security Program, and Euan Graham, Director of the International Security Program.
The road to nuclear Armageddon is not straight.
The North Korea crisis has led commentators to reassess the conventional wisdom that, when it
The rhetoric emanating from Washington and Pyongyang may soon reach the point at which a peaceful resolution is no longer be possible. A year ago the chance of war on the Korean Peninsula would have been considered remote. Now, the call for a US pre-emptive strike is gaining support while North
The war-scare over North Korean missiles continues to escalate, yet the outcome is not really in doubt. I don't know one person in the Korea analyst community who thinks war is likely. Nor do I know anyone serious who has advocated air strikes or other kinetic options. Even hawks know that bombing
Tensions have temporarily abated on the Korean Peninsula, following the latest blustery exchanges between Washington and Pyongyang. In typically mercurial fashion, after threatening 'fire and fury', President Donald Trump has now praised Kim Jong-un’s 'decision' not to launch missiles at Guam as '