US Korea Institute

Wednesday April 16th 2014
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Evil geniuses, stumbling fools, or something in between, we will attempt to divine the real motives behind Pyongyang’s foreign policy moves.

Trust or Bust: What is Park Geun-hye’s Real Nordpolitik? (Part II)

Trust or Bust: What is Park Geun-hye’s Real Nordpolitik? (Part II)

On March 28, 2014, ROK President Park Geun-hye made a much-trailedspeech in Dresden, Germany. To suggest that she “made history” is surely premature. Park was hardly the first ROK President—in fact, she was the fourth—to use reunified Germany as launching-pad for a volley of proposals targeted at North Korea: people-to-people contacts, [...]

A Long & Winding Road: South Korea’s “Nordpolitik” (Part I)

A Long & Winding Road: South Korea’s “Nordpolitik” (Part I)

Comrades, I’m confused. Nay, I am baffled. Flummoxed, even. And who better to share this confusionism with, in hope of enlightenment, than fellow-Korea watchers perusing 38 North? The subject of my confusion can be simply stated: A year after Park Geun-hye took office as President of the Republic of Korea (ROK), I can’t for the life of me [...]

A Tale of Two Peninsulas: How Will the Crimean Crisis Affect Korea?

A Tale of Two Peninsulas: How Will the Crimean Crisis Affect Korea?

The reunification of Crimea with Russia might have unexpectedly turned a page in modern history, ushering the world into a new era of geopolitical competition. There is little doubt that the West is seeking to contain Russia as a re-emerging global player, using this controversial action as a de facto casus belli (hopefully, just a cold variety of [...]

Next Steps in Sanctions against Pyongyang

Next Steps in Sanctions against Pyongyang

Recent developments in North Korea, particularly the execution of Jang Song Thaek and the latest series of short-range missile tests, have led to renewed speculation that Pyongyang may carry out bigger provocations in the near future. If the North does conduct a new long-range rocket or nuclear test, it is certain the United States and its allies [...]

A Brief History of the US-ROK Combined Military Exercises

A Brief History of the US-ROK Combined Military Exercises

The militaries of every country conduct field and command post exercises to test their ability to perform missions dictated by their national leadership. Because three countries conduct such exercises regularly, numbering nearly two million soldiers in close proximity, the Korean peninsula experiences a heightened level of exercises—and [...]

Form Controls Content: The Two Koreas Move, Washington Stands Still

Form Controls Content: The Two Koreas Move, Washington Stands Still

With spring around the corner, there is a newfound sense in Seoul that Park Geun-hye and Kim Jong Un have finally begun to try writing a “new chapter” in inter-Korean relations. In stark contrast to these glimmerings of movement on the Korean peninsula, US policy on North Korea shows no signs of life. Last week, as Park and Kim began moving [...]

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Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.