Konstantin Asmolov

Coronavirus has Reached North Korea


Alas, this has happened and the author begins a series of articles on what the situation looks like at the moment, as well as on the likely causes and consequences of this fact. The chronology of events so far is roughly as follows: no cases of coronavirus infection have been officially reported in the country since the pandemic began. In July 2020, authorities reported…

“Invisible” Launches and a Possible Nuclear Test: a Point of No Return is One Step Closer


There is a steady flow of allegations from South Korean and Western experts that the DPRK may conduct a new nuclear test in the very near future. On April 28, 2022, speaking at a forum on “North Korea’s Army in the First Half of 2022”, Lee Sang-min, a researcher at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, said North Korea is likely to conduct…

Yoon Suk-yeol Takes Office


On May 10, 2022, the inauguration ceremony for the new president of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk-yeol, took place in front of the National Assembly building in Seoul.  The slogan of the ceremony was “Again Republic of Korea: A New Country for the People.” Some 40,000 people watched the event, including 24,000 members of the public. Traditionally, the new president’s inauguration…

Lee Jae-myung and Ahn Cheol-soo Enter the Fray


On June 1, 2022, in addition to the local government elections, there will be a by-election for parliament: when an MP leaves to join the government, his or her seat is vacated and must be filled. Although the mandates are few and will not change the overall balance of power (recall that the opposition to President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol controls 172 of the 300 mandates), two political…

Korean Parallels to the Ukrainian Crisis


Periodically, the audience asks the author what he thinks about the current situation. While the author is not an expert on Ukraine, he nevertheless sees a number of curious parallels between the current developments and the events of Korean history, which he would like to remind readers of. The first parallel concerns the Korean War, which is very often…

Park Sang-hak is Making a Mess Again


The time is coming for conservatives, and far-right NGOs are stepping up. They include the Fighters for a Free North Korea (FFNK), led by someone like Park Sang-hak, who stands out from the ranks of career defectors because he isn’t so much telling scary tales as he is actively fighting the regime, not shying away from smuggling and terrorism. His biography is very diverting…

Military Parade in Pyongyang on April 25, 2022


Although Kim Il-sung’s 110th birthday on April 15, 2022 was spared from military demonstrations, the expected parade (the twelfth during Kim Jong-un’s presidency) was held ten days later. On April 25, the country celebrated the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, the predecessor of today’s KPA. While the existence…

Yoon Suk-yeol’s Government: the First Scandals


So, the elected president of Republic of Korea has formed a government, but its confirmation has to go through the parliament, which is controlled by the democrats. And, of course, there were “questions” about the nominees. And while in some cases they were relevant, in others they resemble the Russian proverb that you can get to the bottom of a telegraph pole if you want…

How a Decision to Attack North Korea Could be Made and the Role that “Experts” Play


This author has in previous articles looked at the way lurid fake news stories appear and how incidents are investigated, and this article will look at how key decisions are taken, specifically in terms of the role played by experts.  It is commonly assumed that governments are omniscient, and that either the head of state or their advisers consider…

On the “South Korean Contractors” in Ukraine (and More)


The article about the misadventures of a “YouTube star” seeking to jump on the Ukrainian crisis hype train caused a lot of interest and questions. In particular, whether Lee Geun and his makeup artists bought enough hand cream and whether the rumor launched by another anonymous Telegram channel was true or not that…

Korean Peninsula: Approaching the Dangerous Threshold?


In 2017, before the thaw in relation started, the author mentioned several times that both countries in the Korean peninsula were close to a dangerous threshold. Unfortunately, in spring 2022, this crisis again became likely to happen. The reason for that is not only the launch of Hwasong 17, but also a number of other events. Expanded military and political alliance between…

Yoon Seok-yeol and his Government.


Continuing the conversation about the team of the President-elect of the Republic of Korea, we’ll discuss those persons whom he expects to be members of the government, since the relevant announcements have been made. It is expected that at least at the end of April, 18 candidates for the ministerial offices will undergo parliamentary hearings on the approval of their official…

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