South Korea

The Arabs Leverage Lucrative Nuclear Contracts

| March 9, 2018

Controversy in South Korea over a secret military clause in a nine-year-old agreement to build the United Arab Emirates’ first nuclear reactor raises a Pandora’s Box of questions about political and military demands that Arab nations may seek to impose as they embark on a nuclear trajectory.

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.

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.

South Korea’s Middle East Policy

| December 1, 2013

South Korea’s Middle East policy balances political neutrality with a cautious policy towards Israel, as Seoul is concerned that political support for Israel will jeopardize its positive standing in the Middle East.