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Q&A / Asia

Plugging a New Gap in Monitoring Sanctions on North Korea

Russia used its Security Council veto to terminate a UN panel monitoring sanctions on North Korea, complicating efforts to contain Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Christopher Green, Richard Gowan and Maya Ungar delve into the consequences.

Commentary / Asia

Korean Reunification: Abandoned or Merely Deferred?

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has announced that he will no longer support the longstanding goal of eventually reunifying the two Koreas. The change of position, coupled with Kim’s flexing of his country’s military muscle, has troubling implications for the Korean peninsula’s stability.

Q&A / Asia

Interpreting North Korea’s Failed Satellite Launch

On 31 May, Pyongyang tried – and failed – to send a military reconnaissance satellite into space. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Chris Green explains why it took this action and what can be done to keep regional tensions from rising.

Commentary / Asia

North Korea Policy under the New South Korean President: More Continuity than Change

On 9 March, South Koreans voted a conservative, Yoon Suk-yeol, into the presidency to replace the left-leaning Moon Jae-in. Yoon has taken a harder rhetorical line than his predecessor toward Pyongyang. But a dramatic shift in North Korea policy is unlikely.

Commentary / Asia

Making Sense of North Korea’s Spate of Missile Tests

Pyongyang’s string of missile tests at the turn of 2022 indicates its discontent with how diplomacy has sputtered on the Korean peninsula since the 2019 summit. Fresh overtures may fall short of bringing it back to the table, but they are worth a try.

Q&A / Asia

North Korea Plots a Course of “Heavy Agony” for 2022

The latest five-day plenum of North Korea’s ruling party focused on food insecurity, chief among the nation’s challenges. With the pandemic not yet tamed and other uncertainty on the international scene, Pyongyang may continue refraining from major provocations into 2022, but for how long is unclear.

Commentary / Asia

Behind the Korean Peninsula “Arms Race”

North and South Korea have recently staged displays of military prowess, causing some to worry about an accelerating arms race. But both countries were playing politics. Any uptick in tensions is likely to come after the Beijing Olympics and South Korean elections in March 2022.

Commentary / Asia

Korean Tensions: An Unexpected Pause in an Uncertain Time

On 24 June, Pyongyang abruptly stopped threats it had been making at Seoul for weeks, although the underpinnings of inter-Korean friction remain. Peninsular tensions could stay on simmer or escalate depending on how the parties manage an uncertain time before the U.S. election.

Event Recording / Asia

Chief Negotiators' Advice: Next Steps on North Korea (Online Event, 15th June 2020)

Two years have passed since U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's historic Singapore summit. But nuclear diplomacy remains stuck and the 2018 June Singapore Joint Statement has not been implemented. The coronavirus pandemic and U.S. presidential elections in November might convince both capitals to kick the can down the road until next year, at the earliest. But Pyongyang's nuclear weapons capability continues to advance without restrictions.

Q&A / Asia

Counting Down to North Korea’s Year-end Deadline

North Korea is testing the United States, issuing threats and launching short-range missile tests while talks over its nuclear program have stalled. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Duyeon Kim explains what could be motivating Pyongyang’s escalation and what to expect in 2020. 

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