South Korea

OPINION: Improve North Korean Human Rights By Ending War

On Nov. 18, a committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted 111 to 19, with 55 abstentions, in favour of drafting a non-binding resolution referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Fishing for Peace in Korea

Environmental problems, by their nature, don’t respect borders. Air and sea pollution often affect countries that had nothing to do with their production. Many extreme weather events, like typhoons, strike more than one country. Climate change affects everyone.

OPINION: Japan Remains Committed to ‘Advancing Vibrant Diplomacy’

In recent years, Japan has found itself it in a rapidly changing security environment. The global balance of power has shifted and various new threats have emerged within the region, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile systems that may soon be capable of delivering them.

Is Japan’s Peace Constitution Dead?

Japan has functioned under its “peace constitution” for nearly 70 years. The distinctive Article 9, which prevents the country from conducting war as a means of resolving international conflict, is showing its age.

Is the Sewol Tragedy South Korea’s Katrina?

In the weeks since the South Korean ferry Sewol sank—taking with it the lives of over 300 passengers, the vast majority of them high school students — the country continues to be wracked by a palpable mix of grief, guilt, and outrage.

Breaking the Rules

Small underdeveloped countries, unless they suddenly discover oil or gold, are at a distinct disadvantage in the global arena. If they play by the rules, they will remain underdeveloped. Over the last half-century, very few countries have managed to jump from the Third World to the club of richest nations.

Obama’s Half-Pivot to Asia

President Barack Obama’s recent tour of Asia was an opportunity to reenergise his foreign policy after a series of setbacks in the global arena.

Storm in a Rice Bowl

Rice, a staple of the South Korean diet, is stirring up a bowlful of worry for Seoul. Under a promise to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the government has to make a tough choice on rice imports by June this year.

Obama Seeks to Reassure Anxious Asians on “Rebalance”

As he embarks Tuesday on a major trip through East Asia, U.S. President Barack Obama will be focused on reassuring anxious – albeit sometimes annoying – allies that Washington remains determined to deepen its commitment to the region.

World Cuts Back Military Spending, But Not Asia

For the second year in a row, the world is spending a little less on the military. Asia, however, has failed to get the memo. The region is spending more at a time when many others are spending less.

North Korea Doing Fine Without the South

If the North Korea of the 1990s was seen as a starving nation that produced an exodus of hungry people, then the picture should be even gloomier now – six years after it stopped receiving South Korea’s generous aid. But it’s not. The nation of 24 million people, widely said to be the most secretive in the world and a nuclear threat, appears to have weathered the years well.

U.S. Still Playing Catch-up in Asia

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden wrapped up his finger-wagging tour of Asia on Friday, with a busy week of lecturing the Chinese, trying to get the South Koreans and Japanese to play nice with one another, and damning North Korea with faint praise for releasing an 85-year-old American after more than a month of detention.

Seeking Justice for Dictatorship Victims – Two Continents Apart

As news of the death of former Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla in a prison cell spread around the world, Julia Parodi, who was in this South Korean city to receive the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights on behalf of HIJOS, said he died in the right place.

Escalating Korea Crisis Dims Hopes for Denuclearisation

With all sides seeming to climb further up the escalatory ladder over the last several days, defusing the ongoing crisis on the Korean Peninsula -- let alone persuading Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal as it once promised to do -- looks daunting.

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What’s in Store for 2013

Having survived the announced end of the world on Dec. 21, we can now try to foretell our immediate future, based on geopolitical principles that will help us understand the overall shifts of global powers and assess the major risks and dangers.

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