Breaking the deadlock on the Korean peninsula

Shin Han-yong, vice president of a group of South Korean firms with factories at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea, speaks to reporters after returning from the park, 20 April 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sangsoo Lee, ISDP

With the Six Party Talks — the main multilateral mechanism to negotiate North Korea’s denuclearisation — moribund since December 2008, the North Korean nuclear issue appears increasingly intractable. North Korea has proceeded with its nuclear program and enshrined its nuclear status in its constitution. Read more…

China–ROK maritime boundary talks can foster safer seas

South Korean destroyer Yulgok YiYi patrols in waters around Ieodo, south of Jeju Island, South Korea, 2 December 2013. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sukjoon Yoon, KIMS

Talks between China and South Korea on boundary delimitation in the Yellow Sea offer a chance to improve bilateral relations and the prospect of extending the agreement to other seas, in particular the South China Sea. Read more…

The birth of the insecure class in South Korea

Civil servants hold their union flags during a rally to oppose the government's bid to overhaul the public pension system in Seoul, South Korea, 28 March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Yoonkyung Lee, SUNY

The South Korean economy advertises its international prowess through the popularity of global brand name products from Samsung Galaxy phones to the Hyundai Sonata. Hidden behind these triumphant global achievements is a phenomenon of widening economic polarisation. Read more…

Vietnam catches the Korean wave

Members of South Korean K-pop band Tara perform during a concert held at Hanoi's My Dinh stadium on 29 November 2012. Seventeen South Korean pop bands performed at the concert held to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between South Korea and Vietnam. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Pham Quang Minh, VNU, Hanoi

An endless line of water that starts from a shallow stream, grows into a big river, and then flows into the ocean. That’s how Vietnam’s former deputy prime minister, Vu Khoan, described the progress made by Vietnam and South Korea in 2012, as they celebrated the 20th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations. Read more…

Korean reunification still on the agenda in 2015


Author: Jong-sung You, ANU

Disasters and political scandals dominated South Korean politics in 2014. And hopes for progress on North–South relations on the Korean peninsula were left unfulfilled.

At the beginning of 2014 — in Dresden, Germany — President Park Geun-hye had unveiled her government’s vision for Korean reunification. Read more…

Democracy is the biggest challenge for South Korea in 2015


Author: Kim Keeseok, Kangwon National University

It is not hard to list the domestic and international challenges for South Korea for 2015. There are many.

At the end of 2014, South Korea faces economic slowdown, an ageing population, worsening socio-economic inequality, rising youth unemployment, mounting household debt and a real-estate market slump. Read more…

Seoul searching for a China–Japan diplomatic balance

South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping smile at a business forum in Seoul. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sarah Teo, RSIS

Are South Korea’s relations with China and Japan warming?

During the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Myanmar in November, South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye proposed a trilateral summit with China and Japan.  Read more…