November 1, 2010 Institute for Security and Development Policy
More than half a century has elapsed since the division of the Korean nation
that had lived on one and the same territory as a homogeneous nation
throughout its time-honored history of several thousands of years. From the
early days of national division, the government of the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea (DPRK) has given priority to efforts aimed at achieving
national reunification, advanced most reasonable and realistic policies and
proposals for national reunification at every stage of its development, and
has made every possible effort to bring them into effect. It is true that inter-Korean relations move in a repeated cycle of reconciliation,
improvement, confrontation and exacerbation. However, it is only
a matter of time before north and south Korea will move towards the goal
of reunification. The era moving towards reunification that has lasted for the past ten
years since the announcement of the historic June 15 North-South Joint Declaration
in 2000 has been an era of exaltation that has instilled renewed hope
of reunification into the hearts of the entire Korean nation.No one can deny that the question of Korean reunification is an internal
matter and should be addressed by the Korean nation itself. However, as
we look back upon the essence of Korean issues, the historical background
of Korea’s division and the underlying elements of its reunification, we find
that the issue of reunification is also a major security issue for the region,
directly linked to the more comprehensive issue of peace on the Korean
Peninsula. Accordingly, the issue of Korean reunification deserves greater
attention so that peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula can be secured;
the focal point in ensuring global peace and security at the present time....
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the experience of North Korean refugees living in South Korea.
From the analysis of the participants’ comments, six essences were identified: entrance to a new world after struggling for
survival, unexpected shock and chaos, reconsidering the reasons for leaving North Korea, recovery from trauma, rebuilding
meaning, and post-traumatic growth.
After abandoning the Agreed Framework, the Bush administration adopted multilateral mechanisms to negotiate nuclear issues of North Korea. In parallel with these developments, the Congress of the United States demonstrated its interest in issues of democracy and human rights in North Korea by deliberating and passing a bill on the subject. The bill was signed into a law by President Bush as the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 in October 2004.
In response to the adoption of this law, North Korea criticized the United States through its state controlled media. Korean Central News Agency reported that the United States, by adopting the act, discarded dialogue and negotiation as a means to resolve the nuclear issue and legally incorporated destruction of the North Korean system as its policy. The US government should have known that highlighting the issues of human rights and democracy in North Korea in the midst of nuclear talks may complicate the process of negotiation: Washington certainly could have expected that North Korea, usually unwilling to discuss its internal affairs, might use this Act as an excuse to slowdown the negotiation. Therefore, it is perplexing why the President signed it into law when doing so brought the risk of derailing the nuclear negotiation. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the meaning of this Act in the administration....
April 28, 2008 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists // Stanford University
Pyongyang agreed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in the September 19, 2005, Six-Party Joint Statement, but elimination of its nuclear weapons program remains elusive. The Six-Party Talks have called for North Korea to shut down the Yongbyon nuclear production complex; disable its facilities; declare its entire nuclear program; dismantle its facilities; and eliminate all nuclear weapons, materials, and weapons
infrastructure—all in concert with compensating measures from the other five parties—South Korea, China, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Yet the process is at an impasse, primarily regarding North Korea’s declaration of its entire nuclear program....
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was an irritant to the United States and defied the international community over his weapons programs for a decade, causing some U.S. leaders to push for removing him and transforming Iraq into a democratic state. Unfortunately, few of those leaders thought seriously about how to accomplish the second half of their aim; thus, we are going on our fifth year in Iraq with no end in sight. One lesson we should learn from this mistake is that we must plan now for stability operations in countries where the risk of regime collapse is greatest....
North Korea's testing of a nuclear weapon in October 2006 prompted international uproar and raised concerns about the erratic nature of negotiations with Pyongyang. While the United States and Japan worry about the isolated country's long-range missile developments, South Korea and China fear the economic implications of the collapse of Kim Jong-Il's regime. Behind these tensions lies a frozen conflict: Over half a century since the end of the Korean War, the peninsula remains divided between the communist North and capitalist South. The United States continues to maintain tens of thousands of troops in South Korea in case the conflict reignites, and North Korea's long-range artillery and rocket-launch batteries keep Seoul in Pyongyang's crosshairs....
Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and two improved in December 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.
Côte d’Ivoire was gripped by political crisis as incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power after losing to rival Alassane Outtara in the late-November presidential runoff polls. Post-election violence claimed thTensions remained high on the Korean peninsula just one month after North Korea shelled Yŏnp’yŏng Island in South Korea. Pyongyang threatened “brutal consequences beyond imagination” against the South as Seoul held live-fire artillery drills on the island. Russia and China called for a calming of tensions on the peninsula, but South Korea refused to cancel the drills amid domestic pressure to stand firm against the North.
Nigeria was hit by several deadly bomb attacks and ongoing Islamist militant violence over the month. At least 80 people were killed in coordinated explosions in the central city of Jos on 24 December. e lives of at least 170 people and more than 15,000 fled to neighbouring countries.
In Pakistan, the Taliban launched a wave of suicide attacks during the month that left scores dead. Many of those killed were locals supporting efforts against the militants. The situation in Guinea improved as former Prime Minister Cellou Diallo conceded defeat in the November presidential runoff and Alpha Condé was sworn in as the country’s first democratically elected president. Following a tense election period and concerted international efforts to avert renewed conflict, world leaders commended Guinea for a “historic achievement”.
Iraq ’s parliament unanimously approved a new 42-member government under incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on 21 December. The move ends nine months of political deadlock and protracted negotiations over government formation following parliamentary elections in March.
CrisisWatch also notes a marked deterioration in Mexico’s drug-related violence over the course of the past year, despite the killing of several high-profile cartel leaders...
Nine actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in November 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.
Tensions surged on the Korean peninsula as two South Korean civilians and two marines were killed when North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at Yeonpyeong Island, where South Korea was conducting military drills. Haiti ’s late month presidential elections ended in confusion, as several opposition candidates called for the vote to be annulled amid reports of fraud, and thousands of people took to the streets in protest. International observers from the OAS called the vote valid despite “serious irregularities”, but tensions remain high. Ivory Coast saw deadly pre-election clashes on the streets of the capital Abidjan between rival supporters of the two presidential candidates, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. The tightly contested 28 November run-off and delays in announcing the preliminary results has led to heightened tensions between the two camps and fears of further violence.
In Guinea, preliminary results declaring opposition leader Alpha Condé winner of the 7 November second round presidential election sparked three days of violence resulting in at least four deaths and dozens injured. CrisisWatch also noted deteriorated situations in Burundi, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Egypt and Western Sahara.
In Niger, the situation improved as results from the 31 October referendum showed 90 per cent of voters in favour of the new constitution, paving the way for January 2011 elections and a return to civilian rule.
Once again this month CrisisWatch describes violence against civilians in North and South Kivu provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo....
Four actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in May 2010. Israeli commandos killed at least nine people when they raided a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza on 31 May. Full details are not yet clear but the incident has already thrown into question recently launched proximity talks between the Palestinians and Israel. May also saw renewed violence in the streets of Bangkok. Clashes between anti-government Red Shirt protesters and security forces that resulted in scores of deaths in April escalated this month, leaving at least 54 people dead. Soldiers removed the Red Shirts from the capital on 19 May and the government has since lifted a curfew imposed on Bangkok and 28 other provinces. Tensions continued to mount on the Korean Peninsula after investigators announced that a South Korean ship that sunk in March had been hit by a North Korean torpedo. Pyongyang continues to deny responsibility for the sinking which killed 46 people. Security also deteriorated in India, where suspected Maoist rebels derailed a train on 28 May leaving at least 147 civilians dead. The Maoists have denied responsibility, but the incident has once again underlined the government's failure to curb escalating insurgent violence that has become increasingly deadly in recent months....
Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in April 2010. Soldiers and protesters clashed in Bangkok in the worst violence to hit the Thai capital in almost two decades. Turmoil also shook Kyrgyzstan where President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in a violent rebellion. Unrest grew amid weeks of protests against painful utility price increases and popular discontent with the corruption that characterised Bakiyev’s rule. April also saw heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the sinking of a South Korean ship in late March. 46 people were killed when the ship was hit by what investigators now say was most likely an external explosion. North Korea has denied involvement and South Korea has so far avoided directly blaming its neighbour. The security situation also deteriorated in India, where Maoist insurgents killed 76 paramilitary troops in their most deadly attack in decades, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where rebel activity and clashes with government soldiers destablised several provinces across the country’s east and north west. CrisisWatch identifies a Conflict Risk Alert for Sudan after flawed elections which returned President Omar al-Bashir to power. With opposition parties contesting the results, and signs of increased violence in both the South and Darfur, there is now a heightened risk that the situation could worsen ahead of next year’s planned referendum on the South’s independence.
CrisisWatch also warns that mounting political tensions in Nepal could lead to new confrontation between the Maoists and the government....
April 21, 2010 Ethical Cargo // Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Air transportation has played a key role in fuelling the war economies and conflicts that
have affected parts of Asia and the Middle East in recent decades. They are also important
facilitators of narcotics flows such as opiates and untaxed tobacco destined for European,
Asian and Middle Eastern markets. At the same time, those air cargo carriers transporting
these commodity flows that have been so destabilizing are also involved in humanitarian
aid and peacekeeping missions.
China is North Korea's most important ally, biggest trading partner, and main source of food, arms, and fuel. In the hope of avoiding regime collapse and the associated influx of refugees across its 800-mile border with North Korea, China has propped up Kim Jong-Il and opposed harsh international economic sanctions against Pyongyang. Reports suggest that when the Kim regime conducted a nuclear test on October 9, it provided a warning to Beijing shortly before the test. But China registered its anger with Kim by agreeing to UN sanctions against North Korea, and experts believe it may be reconsidering the nature of the alliance....
October 17, 2006 Nautilus Institute // United Nations // United Nations Security Council
This is the full text of the United Nations Security Council Resolution passed in response to the DPRK nuclear test on October 9th, 2006. Also included is a summary of the response of North Korean Ambassador to the UN Pak Gil Yon to the resolution.
The Council has now held one session of informal consultations on 5 July and two meetings of experts on 5 and 6 July on the issue of North Korea's firing of ballistic missiles on 4 and 5 July. The draft resolution presented by Japan has received very strong support. It seems clear that 13 of the 15 Council members are now prepared to accept the draft which contains a strong condemnation of North Korea's actions, binding obligations on North Korea under Chapter VII of the Charter and sanctions in the form of a ban on exports to North Korea of strategic materials. There was consensus in the ambassadorial consultations that a swift and firm response was necessary. But differences subsequently emerged, with China and Russia resisting the sanctions and preferring a presidential statement to a resolution....
Excessive secrecy prohibits the public from knowing the exact number of nuclear weapons in the world. Each nation shields the details of its own nuclear arsenal and generally knows few precise details about the size and composition of other countries' stockpiles. Despite the uncertainty, we know that the total global nuclear weapons stockpile is considerably smaller than the 1986 Cold War high of 70,000-plus warheads. Through a series of arms control agreements and unilateral decisions, nuclear weapon states have reduced the global stockpile to its lowest level in 45 years. In the same period, the number of nuclear weapon states has grown from three to nine....
During the mid-1990s, North Korea experienced a famine that killed millions of people, mostly in rural areas. Despite the severity of that famine and the ensuing deterioration of public health, the political leadership in North Korea has obstinately blocked the effective delivery of humanitarian aid to its citizens. On November 16, 2006, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) Task Force on Public Health and Conflict held its first symposium, which selected North Korea as a case study. The Task Force is committed to raising the profile of conflict analysis and resolution in the field of public health education through a year-long series of events. The speakers at this first symposium included Scott Snyder of the Asia Foundation; Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch; two South Korean physicians, Kim Jin-Yong and Lee Yun-Hwan; Courtland Robinson, a Johns Hopkins faculty member and researcher; and one North Korean refugee who addressed the symposium under a pseudonym. This USIPeace Briefing summarizes the symposium's discussion on public health and conflict in North Korea....
To better understand perspectives in the United States and China on internal developments in North Korea, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in partnership with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, convened a daylong conference on December 5, 2006. The conference took place on the eve of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks in Beijing, which subsequently ended without tangible progress. The participants discussed North Korea's economy, the role of external actors on North Korea's decision-making, and Chinese and U.S. visions for the future of the Korean Peninsula. The seminar also included a simulation based on a scenario of an explosion at Yongbyon that creates a radioactive plume that moves across the Sea of Japan....
For three years, the Bush administration has waged a campaign to choke off North Korea's access to the world's financial system, where U.S. officials say the nation launders money from criminal enterprises to fuel its trade in missile technology and its efforts to build a nuclear arsenal.
That effort has started to pay off.
U.S. pressure forced Macao this year to freeze North Korean assets in one of its banks, then foiled North Korea's panicky attempts to find friendly bankers in Vietnam, Mongolia, Singapore and Europe. And after North Korea's Oct. 9 nuclear test, China ordered some of its major banks to cease financial transactions with the country.
The cash crunch appears to have played a key role in North Korea's decision Tuesday to return to six-nation talks over its nuclear ambitions. North Korean officials said that as part of the talks, they wanted to raise the issue of lifting financial sanctions.
The Office of the Special Envoy for Human Rights in North Korea was created by the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004, which called for a Special Envoy to "coordinate and promote efforts to improve respect for the fundamental human rights of the people of North Korea." On August 19, 2005, President Bush appointed Jay Lefkowitz as Special Envoy.
The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) was established in August 1996 as an independent think tank devoted to studying security issues relating to South Asia. Over the years leading strategic thinkers, academicians, former members of the Civil Services, Foreign Services, Armed Forces, Police Forces, Paramilitary Forces and media persons (print and electronic) have been associated with the Institute in its endeavour to chalk out a comprehensive framework for security studies - one which can cater to the changing demands of national, regional and global security. The Executive Committee reflects this essential mix of experience and expertise....
The Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program recently launched an initiative called The North Korea International Documentation Project (NKIDP), supported by the Korea Foundation and other donors. In cooperation with the University of North Korean Studies based in Seoul and an international network of researchers, the NKIDP provides access to original and translated archival documents on North Korea, publishes a working paper series, regularly contributes to the Cold War International History Project Bulletin series, and holds conferences and workshops at the Wilson Center and throughout East Asia....
As the number of defectors from North Korea arriving in
the South has surged in the past decade, there is a growing
understanding of how difficult it would be to absorb a
massive flow of refugees. South Korea is prosperous and
generous, with a committed government and civil society,
and yet refugees from the North almost all fail to integrate
or thrive. Part of this is the change in the people coming;
it is no longer just senior officials and fighter pilots who
were useful and privileged propaganda tools. Nowadays
many are women who have endured terrible deprivation
in the North and abuse on their way to the South. Reconfiguring
programs for defectors to take account of this
change is essential if new defectors are to find a place in
their new home.
The heart of the issue is humanitarian: those who arrive in
the South are often fleeing material deprivation and political
persecution and under South Korean law must be accepted
and helped. But as with all humanitarian issues, it
is complicated by politics. Defectors have been used by
both sides. The South once rewarded them with wealth
and public regard but that changed when rapprochement
with the North began in the late 1990s. Defectors became
something of an embarrassment, and policies to help them
did not keep up with the numbers and types of people
As the difficulties of absorbing North Koreans become
clear, the South is also wrestling with the possibility that
it one day might have to handle a vast outflow of refugees
from a collapsing North. The two sides of the Demilitarised
Zone have diverged so much in economics, politics,
language and social organisation that the people are now
strangers to each other. South Korean law and opinion
from some quarters would likely demand a rapid unification,
but economic and social realities suggest such a move
could be catastrophic. The difficulties of handling just over
20,000 refugees over a few decades should be a warning
to those who wish to encourage the collapse of the North
rather than a more gentle integration....
July 18, 2011 Strategic Studies Institute // United States Army War College
This monograph provides a timely analysis and thoughtful insights into the challenges faced by the United States in developing a strategy for North Korea. The author examines the complex history of U.S. policy toward North Korea over the last decade that has left the United States in a position of having virtually no influence over the country. He addresses the complicated regional concerns and interests of North Korea’s neighbors and how these concerns impact on each of their approaches to North Korea. Most importantly, he looks at how the North Korean culture and history have influenced the attitudes of North Korean society and their relationship with other countries. He concludes by pointing out that despite the numerous challenges, the United States must develop a strategy focused on engaging Pyongyang if we expect to have any influence over the future direction of events in North Korea....
Amnesty International has published satellite imagery and new testimony that shed light on the horrific conditions in North Korea’s network of political prison camps, which hold an estimated 200,000 people.
The images reveal the location, size and conditions inside the camps. Amnesty International spoke to a number of people, including former inmates from the political prison camp at Yodok as well as guards in other political prison camps, to obtain information about life in the camps.
According to former detainees at the political prison camp at Yodok, prisoners are forced to work in conditions approaching slavery and are frequently subjected to torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment. All the detainees at Yodok have witnessed public executions....
March 3, 2011 Institut für Strategie- Politik- Sicherheits- und Wirtschaftsberatung
The following remarks are from a lecture given by Dr. Kongdan Oh at the 1st RINSA-Konrad Adenauer Foundation Internatio-nal Conference “European and Asian Perspectives on International Security Policies”, organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in cooperation with the Research Institute for National Security Affairs (RINSA), Korea National Defense University (KNDU) , February 15, 2011 in Seoul, South Korea:
The two Koreas have suffered through a long history of military confrontation, and there is little reason to expect that relations will improve in the near future. Over the last few years both Koreas have strengthened their armed forces, and thanks to the 2010 North Korean attacks in the West Sea, this military buildup is likely to continue in the years ahead.
The motivation for North Korea to engage in active confrontation continues, and may even be increased, and the resources that could be employed in those confrontations are becoming more deadly.
The incompatibility of the political, economic, and social systems of the two Koreas is a continuing source of ill will. Military confrontation is an extension of political confrontation. Until the political system of North Korea changes, South Korea’s best hope for peace is to limit the North’s employment of its military forces in active engagements....
The deadly provocations by North Korea in the Yellow Sea in 2010 – the Ch’ŏnan sinking and the Yŏnp’yŏng Island shelling – drew condemnation and limited military responses by South Korea, the U.S. and Japan, but Beijing has been reluctant to go beyond counselling restraint to all parties. While declining to call Pyongyang to account, it criticised Washington for stepped-up military exercises with allies in North East Asia.
China’s influence in Pyongyang makes it crucial for international efforts to address North Korean provocations, and how it deals with clashes in the Yellow Sea is an important test of its willingness, capacity and credibility in handling regional conflict risks more generally. However, Beijing is undermining both its own and regional security by downplaying Pyongyang’s deadly behaviour in the Yellow Sea. Diplomatic shielding of the North, particularly at the UN, has damaged its international image and weakened its standing as an honest broker in the Six-Party Talks, while encouraging risky conventional and nuclear initiatives by North Korea. China’s behaviour has caused South Korea and Japan to strengthen bilateral coordination and their military alliances with the U.S. and consider expansion of their own missile defence systems, intensifying the risk of a regional arms race. China’s policy of supporting Pyongyang instead of holding it to account – ostensibly for the sake of stability – is heightening the risk of conflict on the Korean Peninsula....