Showing posts with label Korea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Korea. Show all posts

15 April 2019

Kim Jong Un, his rise to power and his rule in North Korea. Find out

For nearly a quarter-century, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the North Korean regime's continued survival has baffled observers. When North Korea’s founding leader Kim Il Sung died, North Korea entered a period of famine that lasted three years and killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of North Korean citizens. Yet the regime carried on under his son, Kim Jong Il, and his grandson, Kim Jong Un, currently leads the country, making it the only communist regime to practice hereditary leadership succession—not once, but twice.

So how has the North Korean regime remained in power for more than 60 years under the unbroken leadership of three generations of the Kim family? To evaluate the future prospects of North Korea—be it gradual evolution, sudden transformation or collapse—it is critical to understand how the hereditary leadership system has developed historically, its current state and its future prospects. 

Baby Steps Toward Reform

18 March 2019

The Next Stage of the Korean Peace Process Why Seoul Remains Optimistic After Hanoi

By Chung-in Moon

When the U.S.–North Korean summit in Hanoi ended early, with no agreement whatsoever, many South Koreans were shocked. The disappointing conclusion shook the public’s faith in summit diplomacy and undermined Seoul’s efforts to foster parallel processes: for denuclearizing North Korea, building a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, and fostering inter-Korean economic cooperation. In short, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s strategy for bettering relations among Seoul, Washington, and Pyongyang after the summit was shattered.

The summit may have failed, but Seoul observed several encouraging signs. There was neither acrimony nor mutual recrimination at the summit, nor a sudden escalation of military tension in its wake. Considering Pyongyang’s past behavior, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s restraint was unusual. U.S. President Donald Trump’s response was also encouraging. He did not tweet anything inflammatory about Pyongyang in the summit’s wake. Nor did he suggest new sanctions or the renewal of U.S.–South Korean joint military exercises. On the contrary, he expressed his unwavering trust in Kim and his commitment to continuing the dialogue even though the summit didn’t end as he had hoped.

17 March 2019

Korea, the JCPOA, and the Shifting Military Balance in the Gulf

By Anthony H. Cordesman

The Burke Chair is issuing a new detailed analysis of the lessons from recent negotiations with Korea, their implications for U.S. policy in dealing with the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran, and how Iran's other major military programs will affect the regional balance. This study is entitled Korea, the JCPOA, and the Shifting Military Balance in the Gulf, and is available on the CSIS web site at https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/190313_Korea_JCPOA_Lessons.pdf.

The analysis concludes that the sudden breakdown in the latest round of U.S.-Korean nuclear arms control talks in Vietnam should scarcely come as a surprise to anyone. Both sides sought too much too soon and did so despite a long history of previous failures. Heads of state engaged before their staffs had reached a clear compromise and did so seeking goals the other leader could not accept. It is not clear that an agreement was reachable at this point in time, but each side's search for its "best" ensured that the two sides could not compromise on the "good."

8 March 2019

What the Hanoi Summit Tells Us About North Korea’s Nuclear Intentions

By Christopher J. Watterson

The second U.S.-North Korea summit was a bust, with Kim and Trump leaving Hanoi without any mutual concessions or even a joint statement. In a post-mortem press conference Trump stated that the sticking point was sanctions: “Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that. They were willing to de-nuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that”. Importantly, according to Trump, North Korea was willing to denuclearize some ‘areas’ but not others of interest to the U.S.: “They wanted sanctions lifted but they weren’t willing to do [denucleazise] an area we wanted. They were willing to give us areas but not the ones we wanted. … he [Kim] wants to just do [denuclearize] areas that are less important than the areas that we want.”

The good, the bad, and the ugly at the US-North Korea summit in Hanoi

Jung H. Pak

The summit meeting between Kim and Trump ended early. And there was no joint statement, as widely anticipated. Thousands of bewildered journalists who had camped out to capture the spectacle packed up and left, and Kim’s motorcade left quickly, as members of his entourage scrambled to jump into moving cars. The media has been ablaze with speculations about what happened, as pundits weigh in with declarations that the summit was a failure or a success. It was neither. And it was both.

Kim was offering a bad deal and the president was right to reject it.

First, the good. Kim was offering a bad deal and the president was right to reject it. According to the North Korean foreign minister who held a rare press conference the day after, Pyongyang offered the permanent dismantlement of a portion of nuclear material production facilities at Yongbyon Nuclear Research facility in exchange for a “partial lifting” of sanctions, namely the 2016 and 2017 sanctions on the North’s export industries that also limited petroleum imports. The removal of these sanctions would have amounted to billions of dollars in sanctions relief, revenue that could be funneled back into the proscribed programs that we are trying to stop. Given the metastasis of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the covert facilities, and the range of ballistic missiles, offering Yongbyon for the removal of these most effective sanctions, on its face, was a grossly disproportionate trade.

The Hanoi Summit Was Doomed From the Start

By Ankit Panda and Vipin Narang

It should come as no surprise that the Hanoi summit between the United States and North Korea ended in failure. The two countries’ incompatible demands made reaching a new agreement—not just on North Korea’s nuclear program but on anything—almost impossible. Washington called on Pyongyang to unilaterally surrender its entire nuclear weapons program before it would make any concessions. Despite intial reports that the United States was ready to move negotiations forward by first seeking a partial freeze on production of fissile material, it instead went after the whole program—everything old and new—in one swing. Pyongyang unsurprisingly refused, demanding that Washington lift almost all sanctions before it would discuss any further “denuclearization steps.” The United States considered that too high a price for anything short of Pyongyang’s total unilateral disarmament, and talks collapsed. The gulf between U.S. and North Korean demands—not to mention a lack of agreement on what terms as central as “denuclearization” or “corresponding measures” actually meant—had been deftly papered over in the months since the historic first summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last June. But the bill finally came due in Hanoi.

WHAT WENT WRONG

After Hanoi: North Korea, the US and Japan

By George Friedman

As the United States alters its strategy, the others will follow suit.

The Hanoi talks ended in deadlock. Both sides – represented by U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un – showed their anger by refusing to shake hands. The media labeled the talks a failure. But I’ve been involved in a number of negotiations in my life, and I see this as a normal part of the process. At some point, all parties will take positions designed to test the other side’s hunger for a deal, and prudent negotiators know that showing hunger can be devastating. So, ending the negotiation, particularly with a show of anger, is routine. At the same time, mutual rejection can be genuine, and now each side is trying to figure out how serious the other is. Establishing that you are prepared to walk away from the table is important – but sometimes the deal falls apart as a result.

Where Things Stand

7 March 2019

The Hanoi Summit Failed Because the U.S. Doesn’t Understand How Kim Sees the World

Steven Metz 

The world was riveted this week by the meeting in Hanoi between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Last year’s initial summit between the two leaders in Singapore created nearly giddy hope for an end to the longstanding hostility between the United States and North Korea, particularly the resolution of the thorniest issue of all: North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program. But a true breakthrough in Vietnam was always unlikely for one pressing reason: Americans persistently fail to understand how Kim sees the world, instead treating him as they want him to be, rather than as he really is.

So it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise that talks broke down and both sides abruptly walked away from the two-day summit, issuing contradictory explanations of how disagreements over sanctions relief derailed the negotiations. 

The Hanoi Summit Failed Because the U.S. Doesn’t Understand How Kim Sees the World

Steven Metz 

The world was riveted this week by the meeting in Hanoi between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Last year’s initial summit between the two leaders in Singapore created nearly giddy hope for an end to the longstanding hostility between the United States and North Korea, particularly the resolution of the thorniest issue of all: North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program. But a true breakthrough in Vietnam was always unlikely for one pressing reason: Americans persistently fail to understand how Kim sees the world, instead treating him as they want him to be, rather than as he really is.

So it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise that talks broke down and both sides abruptly walked away from the two-day summit, issuing contradictory explanations of how disagreements over sanctions relief derailed the negotiations. 

6 March 2019

Engagement with North Korea: Small Steps May Matter More Than Big Ones

by Rafiq Dossani and Heejin Kim

The second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is scheduled for February 27 and 28 in Vietnam. What can be expected?

The first summit, held in Singapore in June 2018, produced some small, quick, and positive gains, notably reducing the heightened tension of the time. The provocative rhetoric between Trump and Kim has since been muted. The United States canceled its usual joint military exercises with South Korea, which were later resumed but on a smaller scale. North Korea closed its Punggye-ri nuclear test site and returned the remains of 55 U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War. Pyongyang also has kept its promise not to carry out nuclear and missile tests.

From those hopeful beginnings, however, the two countries soon reached a stalemate. The fitful discussions between the two sides since June have not resulted in any progress on three key issues: denuclearization, a peace treaty, and the removal of sanctions on North Korea. Meanwhile, there are reports that North Korea has continued producing nuclear weapons.

5 March 2019

Failure in Hanoi Doesn’t Mean Peace Is Dead

BY PATRICIA KIM

This week, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walked away from Hanoi empty-handed. Their failure to sign a deal was shocking, given most of the speculation before the summit had focused on what would be in the deal, not on whether one would be signed. The failed summit has undeniably made negotiations more difficult going forward. But the silver lining is that the two sides now have the time to step back and lay the foundations for a sustainable diplomatic track, which is essential given the long road ahead.

The Hanoi summit, according to Trump, ultimately collapsed because the North Koreans wanted all existing sanctions lifted in exchange for dismantling the Yongbyon test site. A few hours later, Ri Yong Ho, the North Korean minister of foreign affairs, held a news conference and countered that his side had only asked for partial, not full, sanctions relief. He specified that out of the 11 total U.N. sanctions, they wanted the five imposed between 2016 and 2017—especially the parts that have an impact on “peoples’ livelihood” and the “civilian economy”—to be lifted.

First Impressions: Understanding What Happened at the US-North Korea Summit in Hanoi

By Ankit Panda

In the lead-up to the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting in Hanoi this week, I took U.S. President Donald Trump’s advice and kept my expectations low. Contrary to the lead-up to the Singapore Summit, where expectations on denuclearization in particular had been set sky-high, Trump worked in the run-up to Hanoi to lower them, emphasizing that he was in “no rush” for North Korea’s denuclearization—that all he cared about was that no nuclear or ballistic missile tests occur on his watch.

At Hanoi, the result came in even below my already low expectations. The two sides were unable to come to any productive agreement. Trump confessed at the press conference following the breakdown that the U.S. had even prepared “papers” for the two sides to sign; the White House had sent around a schedule to reporters prematurely announcing a “signing ceremony” too. All this was changed at the last moment and it increasingly looks like it was because North Korea had to walk out on the United States after it refused to budge on the core issue at the center of the process today—and in the past: sanctions.

4 March 2019

Why an Abrupt Finale to the Trump-Kim Summit Won't Kill Negotiations


The second Trump-Kim summit ended suddenly and prematurely, reportedly due to an impasse over what North Korea was willing to trade for sanctions relief, along with other issues related to Pyongyang's weapons program, according to Washington. This, however, does not presage a return to the escalating tests and tensions that preceded the 2018 rapprochement, as progress and negotiations at a lower level are likely to continue.  In the wake of this summit breakdown, China and South Korea will move quickly to try to put the U.S.-North Korea relationship back on track and sustain diplomatic dialogue. 

Editor's Note: This assessment is part of a series of analyses supporting Stratfor's upcoming 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast. These assessments are designed to provide more context and in-depth analysis on key developments over the next quarter.

2 March 2019

Engagement with North Korea: Small Steps May Matter More Than Big Ones

by Rafiq Dossani and Heejin Kim

The second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is scheduled for February 27 and 28 in Vietnam. What can be expected?

The first summit, held in Singapore in June 2018, produced some small, quick, and positive gains, notably reducing the heightened tension of the time. The provocative rhetoric between Trump and Kim has since been muted. The United States canceled its usual joint military exercises with South Korea, which were later resumed but on a smaller scale. North Korea closed its Punggye-ri nuclear test site and returned the remains of 55 U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War. Pyongyang also has kept its promise not to carry out nuclear and missile tests.

From those hopeful beginnings, however, the two countries soon reached a stalemate. The fitful discussions between the two sides since June have not resulted in any progress on three key issues: denuclearization, a peace treaty, and the removal of sanctions on North Korea. Meanwhile, there are reports that North Korea has continued producing nuclear weapons.

27 February 2019

On North Korea, press for complete denuclearization, but have a plan B

Robert Einhorn

This piece was originally delivered as a speech at the Chey Institute of Advanced Studies in Seoul, South Korea on February 14, 2019. 

The goal President Trump will try to advance in Vietnam – the complete denuclearization of North Korea – is a goal genuinely shared by the ROK, China, Japan, Russia, and many other countries.

For the ROK, it would remove a major asymmetry with its northern neighbor and a barrier to North-South reconciliation.

For China, it would reduce a source of regional instability and perhaps result in a decrease in the presence of U.S. military forces in Northeast Asia.

For Russia, it could reduce U.S. incentives to build up homeland missile defenses and boost economic activity in Siberia.

23 February 2019

A Battle Plan for the World Bank

By David Miliband

The abrupt resignation of Jim Yong Kim as president of the World Bank on February 1—more than three years before the scheduled end of his term—sent ripples of concern through the global development community. With the multilateral system under sustained attack, the last thing it needs is instability at the top.

On February 6, U.S. President Donald Trump nominated David Malpass, a U.S. Treasury official, to succeed Kim at the bank’s helm. Other countries have until mid-March to put forward their own candidates, but the United States controls 16 percent of votes in the executive board, giving Malpass every chance of becoming the latest in a long line of American leaders at the bank.

4 February 2019

The World Bank and IMF are in crisis. It's time to push a radical new vision

David Adler and Yanis Varoufakis

The president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, will step down on 1 February – three and a half years before the end of his term – in search of greener pastures. His readiness to resign from the leadership of one the two most powerful international financial institutions is a worrying omen. But it is also an important wake-up call.

The World Bank and the IMF are the last remaining columns of the Bretton Woods edifice under which capitalism experienced its golden age in the 1950s and 1960s. While that system, and the fixed exchange rate regime it relied upon, bit the dust in 1971, the two institutions continued to support global finance along purely Atlanticist lines: with Europe’s establishment choosing the IMF’s managing director and the United States selecting the head of the World Bank.

3 February 2019

Four Problems on the Korean Peninsula

PDF file 20.7 MB 

North Korean provocations and threats have created an unstable environment on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea's ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles increases the possibility of their use against regional states, furthering instability across the region and beyond. The United States, its allies, and other theater powers, including China and Russia, must attend to four interconnected threats. Failure to prepare will increase the chance of mistakes and miscalculation and constrain options to reduce the likelihood or gravity of future conflicts.

Problem 1: North Korea is on a trajectory of nuclear development that has transformed it into a fundamentally different kind of strategic challenge — a state with a significant nuclear arsenal, an increasing range and number of delivery systems, and a nuclear doctrine of early or even preemptive use.

29 January 2019

Can Kim Jong Un Bring North Korea In From the Cold?


For nearly a quarter-century, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the North Korean regime's continued survival has baffled observers. When North Korea’s founding leader Kim Il Sung died, North Korea entered a period of famine that lasted three years and killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of North Korean citizens. Yet the regime carried on under his son, Kim Jong Il, and his grandson, Kim Jong Un, currently leads the country, making it the only communist regime to practice hereditary leadership succession—not once, but twice. 

So how has the North Korean regime remained in power for more than 60 years under the unbroken leadership of three generations of the Kim family? To evaluate the future prospects of North Korea—be it gradual evolution, sudden transformation or collapse—it is critical to understand how the hereditary leadership system has developed historically, its current state and its future prospects.

24 January 2019

North Korea, U.S.: Trump and Kim Hope to Get Detente Back on Track


What Happened

A second Trump-Kim summit is on the way. Following a 90-minute meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's lead nuclear negotiator, Kim Yong Chol, in Washington, the White House confirmed that a much-anticipated, second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would take place "near the end of February." At the same time, U.S. special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun and North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui are meeting in Sweden for talks that will continue through the weekend. Pyongyang and Washington have yet to provide any details as to the location of the big summit, but Hanoi or Danang in Vietnam could host the talks, as could Singapore – the site of their first summit – or Stockholm.