Korean Peninsula

A New Great Game in Asia-Pacific

April 28, 2012 by

India tested its first inter-continental ballistic missile, named Agni-V, this month and joined the select group of nations possessing both nuclear weapons and a delivery system capable of hitting targets across continents. Only a few days before, nuclear capable North Korea had test fired a rocket, supposedly to place a satellite in the orbit, but it failed.

Africa Needs its Own BRICS aka KENSA

April 23, 2012 by

The recent BRICS summit at the end of March 2012 led to a substantial amount of controversy surrounding South Africa’s membership. Various political analysts were seen on television and in newspapers all answering a similar question to this one: Given its economic, military and population numbers, is South Africa really worthy to be part of such a group? When analyzing the facts and figures, the blunt answer is no.

North Korea Puts On Its Best Face

April 22, 2012 by

In the rare silences during North Korea’s April 15 military parade, after innumerable divisions, tanks and rocket launchers had passed by, another sound rang out across the vast square in central Pyongyang: the hacking coughs of North Korea’s top military officers. I’d heard the same tortured coughs the day before at Kim Il-sung stadium, when tens of thousands of military had crowded into the stadium’s amphitheater seats to listen to speeches in honor of the North Korean founder who would have turned 100 years old on April 15.

Chinese Cyber Information Profusion: Anti-Access, Area Denial in Summative Context

April 16, 2012 by

A recent report by Northrop Grumman entitled, “Occupying the Information High Ground: Chinese Capabilities for Computer Network Operations and Cyber Espionage” presented to the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) falls short of acknowledging that China’s increasingly modernized cyber capabilities are a product and part of its “anti-interventionism” doctrine that, at once, brings together its military, civilian, and economic spheres.

Pyongyang Tries – and Fails – to Intimidate the World

April 14, 2012 by

North Korea has failed to do in 2012 what the USSR successfully did way back in 1957, when it launched the world’s first artificial satellite. The country’s much-hyped ballistic missile fell apart just minutes after launch, and its debris fell into the sea. So what conclusions can we draw about the international diplomatic standoff sparked by the launch?

Seoul Nuclear Security Summit Blocks Nuclear Power Industry Development

March 28, 2012 by

The nuclear security summit in Seoul adopted a vague communiqué suggesting the renunciation of highly enriched fuel. Apart from being aimed at non-proliferation, this appeal may testify to the intensification of competition for new technology in nuclear power engineering. Third World countries are being forced to adopt obsolete light water reactors, while the rivalry between leading nuclear powers is growing.

Disengagement the Best Engagement for North Korea

March 21, 2012 by

It took a record one month for U.S.-North Korean talks over a food for nuclear freeze swap to fall into the all too common war of words where Pyongyang threatens with war against the U.S. and South Korea. And while admittedly this game of hot and cold isn’t anything new, what’s different this time is the record speed in which it happened.

A Need for Pan-Asian Institutions in Asia

March 20, 2012 by

For over a decade, many relevant academic journals have prophesized the 21st century as the Asian century. The argument is usually based on impressive economic growth, increased production, trade and booming foreign currency reserves. Undoubtedly, the fact that Asia holds nearly 1/3 of the total world population doesn’t hurt its chances from overtaking the United States and Europe in many areas.

North Korea’s Space Program Not to Lift off Any Time Soon

March 19, 2012 by

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is making a third attempt to convince the world that it can launch spacecraft. Although Pyongyang claims that two satellites have been orbited, independent analysts are unable to detect them. Even if the third launch attempt proves successful, it is unlikely to be completely functional.

Netanyahu’s and Obama’s Unsavory Choices on Iran

March 8, 2012 by

Whether Iran’s goal is ultimately to produce a nuclear weapon is unknown, but as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said last weekend during his meetings in Washington, if is looks, walks and talks like a duck, it is usually a duck. He also asked a simple question – Would Iran be producing its missile program simply to place medical isotopes on top of their missiles? At least one world leader is asking the right questions and looking this issue squarely in the face.

North Korea’s Pivot

March 1, 2012 by

After three years of frozen relations between North Korea and the United States, the two longstanding adversaries are on the verge of a thaw. In what has been called the “leap day deal”, North Korea has pledged to stop uranium enrichment and suspend nuclear and missile tests. The United States, meanwhile, will deliver 240,000 metric tonnes of food to the country’s malnourished population.

Seoul’s “New” Political Parties

February 5, 2012 by

With the April National Assembly elections just a few months off, the two main South Korean political parties have undergone major face-lifts, or at least they’ve been trying to and for good reason. Just this past week, the ruling conservative Grand National Party (GNP), under the chairmanship of one of South Korea’s most influential female politician Park Geun-hye, reemerged as the Saenuri Party (meaning the “New World” Party).

China, South Korean Energy Competition

January 13, 2012 by

South Korean conglomerate and energy giant, the SK Group, in the past few days has made moves to gain a stronger foothold in China’s energy transportation market, in particular in China Gas Holdings. China Gas Holdings is a major player in China’s natural gas pipeline and infrastructure industry and is especially active in the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) markets.

North Korea’s Show of Stability

December 23, 2011 by

There’s been much talk about how North Korea has arrived at a turning point in its history. However, Pyongyang’s behavior before and after the official announcement of the death of its “Beloved Leader,” Kim Jong-il, indicates that change may not come as quickly as many may hope. If there’s one thing Pyongyang has managed to handle well in the aftermath of the death of its nation’s strongman is keeping a secret.

North Korea’s idle war machine

December 21, 2011 by

News of the death of Kim Jong-il was accompanied by conspicuous muscle flexing by the North Korean military. The “Dear Leader” left behind an enormous war machine, the maintenance of which consumes the bulk of the country’s daily activities. How does this machine work and what does the future hold for it?

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