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In Depth: Asia Pacific and South Korea

1 Oct 2014

South Korea's Domestic Politics Undermine Strategic Interests

South Korea's politicians score political points when attacking Japan for mistreating Koreans 70 years ago, but they do so at the expense of their current security interests and standing in the region.
27 Feb 2013

Mapping North Korea’s Brutal Labor Camps

As North Korea’s systemic human rights abuses get a hearing at the UN, Curtis Melvin explains how he has used the latest satellite images of the country to report the expansion of the regime’s gruesome gulags.
18 Apr 2014

America’s Purpose and Role in a Changed World

The United States likes to think of itself as a reluctant warrior, but recent history has plenty of examples of why American leaders should pursue a more forceful and vigilant foreign policy.
31 Oct 2014

The Stubborn South: Why Seoul Needs to Mend Ties with Japan

While Tokyo bulks up against Chinese aggression, South Korea insists on prolonging historical grievances with the Japanese. It’s time for Seoul to put strategic interests first.
3 Jan 2012

The Dash for Gas: The Golden Age of an Energy Game-Changer

The natural gas market has blossomed in recent years, offering some countries the potential for greater energy independence and setting up a new set of global winners and losers.
28 Jun 2013

The Forgotten Genocide: North Korea’s Prison State

The Kim regime’s crimes against the North Korean people are tantamount to genocide and crimes against humanity—and linked to Pyongyang’s militarism in ways other nations can no longer ignore.
20 Mar 2013

Can the UN Stop Kim’s Human Rights Crimes?

The UN’s special rapporteur for human rights in North Korea is only the latest to urge the body to take action against the regime’s widespread abuses and crimes. But will anything really be done?
6 Jun 2013

North Korea’s Legacy of Terrorism

The US once considered North Korea—guilty of dozens of foreign bombings and thousands of abductions—a terrorism sponsor. The listing lapsed, but the horrendous behavior never did.
31 Oct 2012

No Fear or Just Smug? South Korea’s Youth Dismiss the Northern Threat

North Korea’s threat has dominated life in the South for two generations. But South Korea’s youth now dismiss that threat—and say the US footprint should shrink.
1 Mar 2009

Lessons Lost: The Futility of Experience

In 2008, many Americans who called for change at home seemed reluctant to do so abroad, having been warned that a reversal of course would be regarded as weakness by our enemies and thereby encourage a military challenge. Such aggressions never happened after the Korean or Vietnam wars, nor during the Cold War at all. (Abstract)
1 May 2011

Fatal Attraction: China's Strengthening Partnership with North Korea

The alliance between Beijing and Pyongyang has always been dysfunctional, but increasing Chinese clout in North Korea clouds the prospect of successful change in this failed state.
1 Sep 2010

The Real Reset: Moscow Refights the Cold War

Washington thinks it's gotten a fresh start with Moscow. In fact, our old adversary has merely fallen back into its old Cold War habits.
1 Sep 2011

The Defector’s Tale: Inside North Korea’s Secret Economy

The “Royal Court Economy,” begun as a stopgap as Soviet funding dried up, has grown into a hidden mechanism to keep the Kim dynasty in power.

17 Jul 2017

Trump Puts Squeeze on Beijing over North Korea

China can expect more banks to suffer the fate of the Bank of Dandong—the recent target of the Trump administration’s new approach to sanction banks laundering North Korean money.
4 Jan 2017

Will North Korea Conduct Intercontinental Missile Test?

A transition in Washington, an impeachment in Seoul, and China's refusal to rein in North Korea's nuclear program is providing Kim Jong Un an opportunity for an intercontinental missile test.
19 Sep 2016

US-India, China-Russia Exercises Reflect New Alliances

As the US and India conduct joint exercises 100km from India’s border with China—China and Russia conduct "island seizing" naval exercises in the South China Sea.
3 Feb 2017

Missile Defense, North Asia Security on Mattis's Agenda

With China and North Korea looming large, Secretary of Defense James Mattis's trip to Seoul and Tokyo is about a regional security structure threatened by domestic politics.
13 May 2016

Kim Announces Vague Five-Year Economic Vitalization Plan

Kim Jong Un has announced a five-year economic plan to revive North Korea's economy. But his nuclear ambitions and lack of reform policies, resources, and foreign investment doom the prospects.
3 Apr 2013

The World's Most Dangerous Places

for tourists. Not a single country I have ever reported from is listed here ...

21 Sep 2016

Making Humanitarian Aid Work in North Korea

Deliver humanitarian relief directly to the North Korean people, not to the despots who control and abuse them—and, manipulate the aid.
30 Dec 2015

Japan, South Korea Reach Historic Agreement on ‘Comfort Women’

In a landmark deal, Japan has promised 1 billion yen to South Korea’s surviving “comfort women” of World War II. Now the two countries should move past this historic grievance and focus on present dangers.
6 Jan 2015

East Asia's Population 'Death Spiral'

As Japan’s population ages and shrinks, along with those of most other East Asia countries, the region finds itself on a demographic “suicide watch” unprecedented in history.
19 Apr 2016

South Korea, US Can’t Wait for Beijing to Approve Missile Defense

South Korea and the US can no longer wait for Beijing's approval to deploy the THAAD missile defense system with an increasingly belligerent and nuclear-armed North Korea.
13 Nov 2015

South Korea's Dual Agendas Undermine Allies' Unity

Recent remarks from South Korea's defense minister show that Seoul is willing to side with the US and its allies against Chinese territorial aggression—but only after much arm-twisting.
22 Feb 2016

Obama Administration's Secret Overture to North Korea

Having apparently dropped the denuclearization precondition to talks with North Korea, the Obama administration has exposed a major North Korean vulnerability, and strengthened the US position.
3 Jun 2015

South Korea Plays China Against America

The question of Chinese aggression, and South Korea’s “balancing role” between Beijing and Washington, will hang over President Park Geun-hye’s visit to the US later this month.
26 Mar 2014

China Courts South Korea

Though South Korea courts China for practical purposes, China's aggressiveness in the region ensures that South Korea's security ties with the US will remain solid.
21 Apr 2014

Skipping China, Obama Seeks to Reassure Asian Allies

President Obama hopes to reassure nervous allies in Asia who worry the US is not sufficiently reliable in thwarting the aggressive behavior of the country he's not visiting--China.
7 May 2013

America Has Something to Prove to South Korea

In the face of North Korea’s nuclear aggression, it will be President Obama, rather than his guest, who has something to prove when South Korea’s president visits the White House today.
31 Jul 2012

How North Korea’s Kim Regime Survives

A new report sheds light on how the Kim family regime created (and has sustained) the world’s most comprehensive police state.
29 Oct 2014

Countering the Threat of North Korean Warheads

Another assessment, this time from a US commander, has raised questions as to whether Washington should be doing more to counter the threat of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.
4 Apr 2013

Is Kim Jong Un's Bluster Really a Prelude to Reform?

There are some indications that North Korea's Kim Jong Un is beating the war drum to appease his generals and buy political space to introduce economic reforms—a plan that did not work for his predecessors.
20 Mar 2013

Can the UN Stop Kim’s Human Rights Crimes?

The UN’s special rapporteur for human rights in North Korea is only the latest to urge the body to take action against the regime’s widespread abuses and crimes. But will anything really be done?
18 Dec 2011

Totalitarian Grief

for us to watch that video and assume everyone in the country feels the way ...

24 May 2011

China Changes Its North Korea Policy ... Maybe

in the country. There are no coincidences when it comes to Beijing and Pyongyang, ...

11 Mar 2014

Replace Failed Diplomacy with Sanctions on North Korea

Beijing thinks some dialogue with North Korea is better than none, but both this approach and Washington's cold shoulder have failed. The US should tighten sanctions.
20 Mar 2012

North Korean Aid and American Interests

North Korea's missile launch announcement shouldn't affect America's interest in feeding the country's people—so long as food monitors accompany the aid.
13 Feb 2013

The Grand Universal Illusion

Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times has it wrong. North Korea has isolated itself, and China's engagement policy hasn't worked. China pursues its self-interest, and that has little to do with American sentimentalities.
26 Mar 2013

The Failure of Deterrence in Korea

South Koreans want to develop their own nuclear weapons to counter the North’s bellicose threats. Is it a sign they no longer trust Washington’s resolve to defend their country?
17 Sep 2013

Steam Signals from Pyongyang

In a risky move, South Korean businesses have set up shop again in the North, potentially helping to fund the Kim regime’s nuclear program, which recently showed signs of increased activity.
5 Dec 2012

North Korea to Launch Missile for Iran?

Is North Korea’s planned missile launch a poorly disguised demonstration for Iranian observers? The history of the regimes’ relationship suggests it might be.
20 Feb 2013

China: US to Blame for North Korea’s Provocations

Beijing has tried to deflect criticism over the development of North Korea’s nuclear program by blaming the US. But history proves otherwise.
23 Feb 2012

More Hollow Threats from North Korea?

There are at least four reasons why North Korea's threats of "total war" against the South this week were not empty gestures.
19 Sep 2011

The China–North Korea–Iran Nuclear Triangle

in violation of Security Council resolutions on Iran, exporting to that country ...

20 Jul 2016
8 Sep 2015

South Korea to Aid 13 Countries to Fight Infectious Diseases

The Korea Times. South Korea. 02:23 PM EDT
30 Dec 2013

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