Topic:

North Korea

The 2018 Winter Olympics: Divided We Stand

| February 9, 2018

The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea is a major political as well as sporting event. The Olympic spirit of peace will be on full display when the North and South Korean teams enter the stadium together and even play together. But the new euphoria on the Peninsula has reignited a political debate between Korean conservatives and liberals on policy towards North Korea. While liberals see the Olympics as an opportunity for negotiation, conservatives see Pyongyang’s agreement to attend as a tactic to gain benefits and not a genuine expression of warming relations.

The 2018 Winter Olympics and North Korea

| January 4, 2018

The good news is that the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea, might serve as a venue for confidence-building measures towards negotiations between South and North Korea. The bad news is that North Korea has no intention of giving up its nuclear and missile capabilities. Pyongyang is changing its strategy towards Seoul in order to earn credit that it can use to ease sanctions without sacrificing deterrence.

DEBATE: What Is the Best Way to Deal with North Korea?

| December 31, 2017

Q: A few weeks after the visit of US President Donald Trump to Asia, North Korea is continuing with its missile launches. While the military option is openly on Washington’s agenda, a potential diplomatic solution cannot be excluded. BESA is joining the debate by asking experts: What is the best way to deal with North Korea?

North Korea’s Missile Program

| December 10, 2017

North Korea’s missile program demonstrates Pyongyang’s ability to build a reliable deterrence capability against the US – but the program requires a huge budget. Pyongyang should be able to fund the industry in the short term, but sanctions and costs might eventually force it either to look for new income sources or to offer tactical concessions.

The Puzzle of the North Korean ICBM

Uncertainty remains about North Korea’s technological maturity and ability to launch nuclear warheads that could hit the US homeland, even after its recent success at launching the Hwasong-14 missile and the conducting of its most powerful nuclear test yet. The first-stage engine of the Hwasong-14 is a critical component in its possible operation as an intercontinental ballistic missile, but there are questions about how Pyongyang came by this engine, how many it possesses, and whether or not it can produce them on its own. These uncertainties are troubling not only with regard to North Korea, but also with regard to Iran. They have sobering implications about the possibility of monitoring and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction worldwide.

President Moon Jae-in’s Dilemma

| October 25, 2017

South Korean President Moon Jae-in faces pressure from Pyongyang, Beijing, and Washington as well as from his own country about the North Korean crisis. He needs to find ways to balance the multilevel exterior pressure with the expectations of the South Korean voting public, which elected him in the hope of bringing about a more peaceful North Korean policy.

What Parades in Pyongyang Ends Up in Tehran

| September 28, 2017

The latest parade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard displayed a new ballistic missile, the Khorramshahr. Though it had been modified to appear less threatening, the new missile matches a North Korean ballistic missile known by different names in the West, including BM25. The Khorramshahr could eventually enable Tehran to threaten the capitals of Europe with nuclear warheads, and it raises the level of the Iranian missile threat to Israel.

Handling the North Korean Nuclear Challenge

| September 27, 2017

The recent verbal exchanges between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have been among the most belligerent and bellicose to pass between any two major leaders in recent history. The North Korean nuclear crisis now resembles the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis between the US and the Soviet Union. Trump has several options with which to deal with Kim. All are problematic, and a few are truly dangerous.

The Wide Spectrum of North Korea’s Weapons of Mass Destruction

| September 26, 2017

In parallel with its growing offensive nuclear capabilities, North Korea possesses fully operational, extensive arsenals of chemical and biological weapons. Pyongyang’s possession of these weapons, which are intact and ready for use, has serious implications, some of which pertain to Iran and Syria.

Tokyo’s North Korean Dilemma

| September 7, 2017

On August 29, 2017, North Korea launched a Hwasong-12 missile over Japan that landed in the Pacific Ocean – a show of force that once again illustrated Japan’s vulnerability to North Korea’s ballistic missiles. Tokyo should reconsider its newly conciliatory method of coping with the threat from Pyongyang. It will not be able to deter North Korea alone, and may have no choice but to be more active militarily.