Konstantin Asmolov

China and South Korea: an Anniversary is Approaching, but Problems Persist

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In 2022, diplomatic relations between the PRC and Republic of Korea will turn 30 years old, and Seoul is actively trying to raise relations between the two countries up to a respectable level. This is not easily done, since the confrontation between the United States and China is leaving its mark, and the scale of bilateral…

The War for Kimchi, Episode X+1.

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While periodically noting the pearls of South Korean nationalism, the author cannot help but bring up the analogy of the Russian-Ukrainian borscht dispute over Korean kimchi cabbage, which Seoul actively promotes as a national treasure and symbol.  The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a United Nations body, officially recognized an industry standard for kimchi…

Has South Korea been Passing Military Technology to Islamic Terrorists?

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Some time ago, the author had a discussion with a famous political scientist from the ROK who was keen on proving the following hypothesis. The DPRK government was capable of passing on military secrets, even those required to make a nuclear bomb, to international terrorist networks, and even if the leadership chose not to do…

Defense and Military Industry Development in South Korea

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In February 2021, the Defense Industry Promotion Act came into force in the ROK, requiring the government to prioritize domestic manufacturing. South Korea has allocated 176.6 billion won ($159 million) to support the defense industry, a sharp jump from 93.8 billion won in 2020. The government will spend 49.6 billion won to support defense exports, up from 43 billion…

Why South Korea Replaced its Foreign Minister

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On January 20, 2021, President Moon Jae-in partially reshuffled the government, replacing three ministers. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha was also relieved of her position. She was replaced by Chung Eui-yong, former head of the National Security Department of the Office of the President of the ROK. A former interpreter for presidents, Kang Kyung-wha proved…

ROK Authorities Try to Bring Park Sang-hak and his Associates into Line, but the US Gets in the Way

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Remember how the actions of anti-Pyongyang NGOs provoked the aggravation of the summer of 2020, when North Korea finally got fed up with the “fighters for a free North Korea,” led by the odious defector Park Sang-hak, launching balloons with leaflets and other propaganda across the border in…

Why Does South Korea Need an Aircraft Carrier?

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Continuing the previous story, let’s talk about other military programs of South Korea that are not of a defensive nature. Since late 2020, the South Korean Navy has been pushing the project of adopting a light aircraft carrier with a 3,000-ton displacement, despite controversy over its effectiveness. As Yonhap News Agency reported, during a closed-door meeting…

Park Geun-hye and Moon Jae-in On the Sin Scale

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So, no one is going to pardon Park Geun-hye anytime soon. On January 15, Kang Min-seok of the Presidential Administration said that the verdict on Park Geun-hye is a testament to the maturity of South Korea’s democracy, and on January 18, President Moon Jae-in directly said at a New Year’s press conference that a decision to grant amnesty to the two former…

South Korean Rearmament and Statements Made by Kim Jong-un

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The final results following the eighth congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea, and Kim Jong-un’s statements about the areas of focus for his country’s military posture, caused quite a commotion. Hypersonic missiles and launching new satellites! Unmanned aerial vehicles, including combat drones! Nuclear-powered…

What does the ROK Expect from Joe Biden?

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On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden was sworn in as president. What the DPRK expects of it is partly evident from the results of the recent congress. But what about the South? Officially everyone paid their respects even after the election, and again after the inauguration. ROK President Moon Jae-in congratulated Joe Biden on officially assuming the presidency of the United States…

Who will Handle the Korean Conflict under Biden, and How?

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We have already made preliminary predictions about what the new US president’s course on the Korean Peninsula will look like. Now that Joe Biden has introduced some of his team and partially spoken out himself, some things are further clarified. Let’s start with Biden himself. We recall that he was critical of the meetings between Trump and Kim, insisting that they only…

Key Features of the Ongoing Law Enforcement Reform in ROK and Possible Issues

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After the author published a number of reports about various changes made to the way South Korea’s law enforcement agencies operate, he has received a number of requests to outline what these reforms would mean and entail. In his inauguration speech in May 2017, Moon Jae-in promised to ensure law-enforcement authorities would…


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