Tokyo has claimed that the new trade restrictions are the result of concerns over South Korean export controls, which Japan insists could let sensitive materials cross into North Korea or China.
Since the 1950s, the United States has been designated to command South Korean forces in the event that war once again breaks out on the Korean Peninsula. The August 2019 military exercises are a big step toward changing that.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s campaign against colonial-era pro-Japanese collaborators is an overlooked yet critical bilateral issue, linked to the United States and diplomacy with North Korea.
Korean unification will pose massive governance and economic challenges that go far beyond denuclearization. To ensure stability, South Korea should work with international partners now, to sketch out how a unified Korea might work.
The United States and North Korea are once again locked in a diplomatic standoff over denuclearization and the normalization of U.S.-North Korean relations. This has brought the promising start North and South Korea have made on building peace and security on the Korean Peninsula to a halt.
As South Korea pursues engagement with North Korea, thinking about unification through a stabilization framework can provide critical clues on navigating major challenges that unification might bring.
Integrating the two Koreas will be an arduous process. How the unification process evolves depends on the success of stabilization—which cuts across responses in political, military, social, and economic domains.
Significant progress has been made on this track over the past year, but the process is on life support and badly needs an industrial-scale shot of adrenaline. Bilateral relations between North and South Korea have undergone a rapid and positive transformation.
Trilateral defense coordination offers Japan, South Korea, and the United States an important avenue to advance their mutual interests and support peace and security in the Asia Pacific.
In the event a peace and security regime for the Korean Peninsula leads to North Korean agreement to reduce its conventional weapons and equipment, Kim may want to convert portions of the North’s defense industries to production of civilian goods.