north korea

The Park Geun-hye administration started with an ambitious middle-power foreign policy agenda. But as President Park’s time in office seems set to come to an end, South Korea’s middle power prestige may fall victim to South Korea’s domestic politics. Park had several policies seeking to utilize South Korea’s middle power status. The "Eurasia Initiative" aimed to establish a logistics and energy network through North Korea, Russia, Central Asia and on to Europe.

Pyongyang began exporting statues to Africa in the late 1960s, when a wave of independence movements created a new market of ideologically friendly leaders in search of grand symbols to bolster national identity and claims of political legitimacy. North Korea, looking to expand its diplomatic ties vis a vis rival Seoul, initially provided the works for free. It only started selling them from about 2000.

Aside from reunification of the Korean peninsula, if denuclearization in North Korea is to be the central goal, how can one possibly achieve it? What could bring the North Korean regime to its knees and to the negotiating table? [...] for the ears of one pivotal or sitting on the panel of speakers if things continue as they are. That audience, of course, is the 24 million North Korean citizens still in the country.

December 13, 2016

As the Trump administration assumes leadership of American foreign policy, questions prevail about how it perceives the United States’ role in the world and how it will exercise that role.  The appearance of a potentially unconventional U.S. president amidst a world in flux highlights the enormous uncertainties and the potential risks to U.S. stability and prosperity that are now confronting us.

The new sanctions target North Korea's hard currency revenues by placing a "hard, binding cap" on coal exports, cutting them by at least 62 percent, capping them at around $400 million or 7.5 million tons, diplomats said. According to the Global Trade Atlas, China is on track to import nearly $1 billion worth of coal from North Korea in 2016 despite a previous sanctions regime.

For over a decade, South Korean businessmen and officials have regularly met with representatives of the Maghreb and most developed countries in Central Africa. [...] Furthermore, the author stressed the role of "soft power" in Seoul’s presence in Africa.  "South Korea is a recognized international power. It wants to have an international policy adequate to this status," Dayez-Burgeon noted.


The expansion is a result of a funding injection of 289 million pounds ($360 million) until 2020 announced by the government last year. The boost reversed a previous decision to cut World Service funding and was part of a broader strategy to increase Britain’s ‘soft power’.

November 12, 2016

To Nicholas Bonner, North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is not as isolated as most outsiders believe. Bonner, who runs Koryo Tours in Beijing and offers Westerners trips to North Korea, believes that engagement with North Koreans is an important way to connect the country with the rest of the world, through travel, sports, art and films.