South Korea

Scandal between South Korea and New Zealand over Alleged Sexual Assault


On July 28, 2020, South Korean President Moon Jae-in held talks over the phone with New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. According to official reports, the South Korean leader requested New Zealand’s support for South Korea’s candidate running to be the World Trade Organization’s next director-general — Trade Minister…

A Dangerous Precedent Set in South Korea


On July 7, 2020, the Seoul Central District Court obliged Kim Jong-un and the North Korean government to pay damages to two former prisoners of war for forced labor during the time they were held captive in the northern part of the country. This was the first case when a South Korean court declared its jurisdiction over North Korea. Let this author explain…

What Stephen Biegun was Doing in Seoul


From July 7-10, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, US Special Representative for North Korea, made a visit to Seoul. While the entire makeup of the delegation is not clear, Biegun was accompanied by Alex Wong, deputy special representative for the North. The goal of the visit was to highlight the US commitment to find a diplomatic solution…

A Chronicle of Inciting Hatred


This author has written more than once about how state-sponsored anti-Japanism is one of the cornerstones of the ideology put forth by the Republic of Korea, and unfortunately these processes elicit similar reactions in Japan, thereby creating a vicious circle. Here are a few recent narratives. In September 2019, the Korean police started an investigation on Liu Seok-cheon, a conservative sociology professor…

The Economic Aspects of a Trade War between Japan and Korea


On 4 July 2020, it will be exactly one year since Japan introduced export restrictions on South Korea on three types of chemicals critical for the microelectronics industry: fluorinated polyimide, hydrogen fluoride, and photoresists. South Korea called that step the start of a trade war. We should recall the essence of the issue: Japan highlights…

ROK President is Making Changes to his Team… or Is He?


On July 3, 2020, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in partially reshuffled his staff in leadership roles by replacing the Unification Minister, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director and the Director of the Blue House National Security Office. Some experts viewed the changes as a sign the government was seeking “to focus on inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation…

South Korea Trapped between China and US


Tensions between the United States and the PRC keep rising. In fact, the confrontation is starting to resemble a “new Cold War”. The relationship appears to have reached a turning point on May 20, 2020, when the White House delivered a report, “United States Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China”, to members of Congress. A substantial portion…

What we Learned about Korean Issues from John Bolton’s Memoirs


On 24 June a US court rejected a bid by the US government to block publication of the memoirs of John Bolton, a former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump. It’s worth recalling that John Bolton, the arch-hawk and conservative who was jokingly called the godfather of the DPRK’s nuclear program for his…

Will South Korea become a Haven for American Intermediate-range Missiles?


Since 2017, South Korea has been a home for the American anti-ballistic missile defense system, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), which was installed in Seongju, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, despite strong protests from China and North Korea. As an integral part of America’s anti-ballistic missile defense system…

How “Human Rights Advocates” Capitalize on the Tragedy of “Comfort Women”


This author has already touched upon the topic of “comfort women” and how NGOs feed off this topic several times, conjecturing how these organizations are more concerned about looking after their own benefit then resolving the problem, since once the issue has been settled for good the opportunity will vanish for them…

US-South Korea Dispute over Defense Costs Still Hitting a Dead End


Our last piece on the US-South Korea military cost-sharing agreement known as the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) was published two months ago, yet no progress has since been made. To briefly provide some background information, South Korea has been partially covering the cost of hosting American troops since…

Lifting of 2010 Sanctions? No, Just Another Pitiful Move from Seoul.


Several times, when writing about what President Moon Jae-in could have done to develop inter-Korean dialogue, this author has outlined that a real step, and not just a ceremonial one, would be the lifting of wide-ranging unilateral sanctions imposed on 24 May 2010 by Lee Myung-bak’s government after South Korea’s implication…

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