South Korea

  • The Koreas: Charting a Path to Peace

    The big question following the historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27 is what denuclearization means in the context of the summit declaration, according to the Atlantic Council’s Alexander “Sandy” Vershbow.

    “In the past, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as distinct from denuclearization of North Korea, has meant the potential withdrawal of the US nuclear umbrella all the way up to the withdrawal of the entire US military presence in South Korea, given that the US is a nuclear power,” said Vershbow, who served as the United States’ ambassador to South Korea from 2005 to 2008.

    Kim and Moon pledged in their meeting in the truce village of Panjumom along the border between the two Koreas to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and work to formally end the Korean War this year.

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  • The Korean Summit: Cautious Optimism

    The leaders of North and South Korea agreed on April 27 to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and work to formally end the Korean War this year.

    Making history, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walked across into South Korea where he was greeted by a beaming South Korean President Moon Jae-in. This was the first time that a North Korea leader has set foot in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Kim then asked Moon to step back with him into North Korea; Moon obliged, eliciting applause from onlookers.

    “South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula,” according to a statement signed by Kim and Moon after their meeting at the so-called truce village, Panmunjom, on the border between the two Koreas.

    “South and North Korea agreed to actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the statement said.

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  • Five Things to Look for in the Korea Summit

    The summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27 is the first such formal event in eleven years.  Much has changed, but much is still the same.  Long-standing dynamics will be at play. 

    Here are five interesting angles to watch.

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  • Six Things You Should Know as the Koreas Prepare to Make History

    Given the frenetic pace of the news cycle these days it would be easy to have missed the fact that the leaders of North and South Korea are poised to make a little bit of history of their own—and, perhaps, bring peace to two countries that have technically been at war with each other for the past sixty-eight years.

    We have you covered.

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  • Manning Quoted in WSJ on North Korea Dropping Demands to Removing U.S. Troops


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  • Mike Pompeo’s Secret Mission to Pyongyang

    The remarkable news that CIA Director and US Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo made a secret trip to North Korea where he met North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a measure both of the head-spinning pace of diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula and of the seriousness with which US President Donald J. Trump’s administration takes the upcoming Trump-Kim summit.

    Trump has made solving the North Korea nuclear problem a centerpiece of his foreign policy. North Korea has posed a vexing dilemma the answer to which has eluded four US presidents—from George H.W. Bush through to Barack Obama—over the past quarter century.

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  • It’s Time for Trump to Test North Korea

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has, in a surprise move, reportedly agreed to suspend nuclear and missile tests and start talks with the United States on dismantling his nuclear weapons. Both were prerequisites set by US President Donald J. Trump’s administration before it would agree to an initial, exploratory meeting.

    US President Donald J. Trump promptly tweeted that the rare opportunity to defuse the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, while a sign of “possible progress,” could also be “false hope.”

    “There’s only one way to know if it is false hope and that is to test it by sitting down for talks with the North Koreans,” said Robert A. Manning, a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

    “The North Koreans have said everything he has wanted them to say,” Manning said. “The ball is now in Trump’s court.”

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  • I Spy A North Korean at the Olympics

    North Korean Gen. Kim Yong-chol is believed to have orchestrated a deadly attack on a South Korean warship, the bombardment of a South Korean island, and, possibly, the cyberattack on Sony Pictures.

    Now, the former North Korean spy chief is on a different mission. Kim Yong-chol will lead his country’s delegation to the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on February 25. There he is expected to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in to pave the way for a peace summit proposed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

    The diplomatic thaw between North and South Korea follows several months of missile and nuclear tests by Pyongyang and is playing out in the high-wattage arena afforded by the Winter Olympics.

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  • Manning Quoted in RFA on Proposed Inter-Korean Summit


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  • An Olympic Thaw on the Korean Peninsula. But for How Long?

    Even as it supports the Olympic thaw between North and South Korea, US President Donald J. Trump’s administration is keeping up pressure on Pyongyang, evidenced by US Vice President Mike Pence’s promise that the “toughest and most aggressive” sanctions on North Korea are imminent.

    On February 7, two days ahead of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Pence described North Korea as having the “most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet.” He insisted that the United States will continue to intensify the heat of sanctions until North Korea takes concrete steps toward denuclearization.

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