Towards Ending the 65 Years of Armistice: Understanding the process for peace in Korea

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July 27, 2018 marks the 65th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement which brought about a ceasefire to the Korean War. The agreement was signed by North Korean General Nam Il representing both the Korean People’s Army (KPA) as well as the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (PVA) and U.S. Army Lieutenant General Harrison, Jr. representing the United Nations Command (UNC).

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DPRK Suspends South Korea Meeting After US Drills

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Gregory Elich interviewed by Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon

North Korea suspends its meeting with South Korea following provocations from U.S./South Korean military drills, Washington’s inability to compromise with Pyongyang and the effect this may have on the Korean unification process

A Strong Antidote to Western Propaganda on Korea

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Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom, by Stephen Gowans. Montreal: Baraka Books, 2018. Paper, $24.95, pp 270

The release of Stephen Gowans’s superb new book could not be better timed. With the Korean Peninsula on the potential brink of major change, looking to Western mainstream media for reasoned analysis is a fool’s errand. Gowans provides a valuable service in filling that gap by situating Korea in its historical context, while making no compromise with received opinion or resorting to lazy formulations.

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North and South Korea Historic Meeting: The Politics Behind the Summit

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Interview with Tim Beal and Gregory Elich

In one of the most important diplomatic breakthroughs in a generation, the leaders of North and South Korea met and pledged to denuclearize the peninsula and to formally end the Korean War. Even the most optimistic observers were surprised at the scope of the meeting, which took place on the South Korean side of the border at Panmunjom. President Trump later issued a statement saying that he was looking forward to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks or months.

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Koreans Talk Peace?

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The games have begun. The younger sister of North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong-un has captured the attention of the media, while US Vice President Mike Pence was mocked as a dud, even undiplomatic. The two Koreas are engaging each other. This makes the Washington foreign policy swamp fume.

Interview with Brian Becker, Gregory Elich, and Myung-Koo Kangwatchthevideo

As Inter-Korean Relations Warm, Will the U.S. and Japan Play Spoilers?

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Gregory Elich interviewed by Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon

The ongoing diplomatic efforts between North and South Korea against the backdrop of the 2018 Winter Olympics; if Japan and the US will play spoilers in Korean reunification efforts; Mike Pence’s undiplomatic efforts at the Olympic opening ceremony; and the history of politics at the Olympics.

 

South and North Korea Talks: A Thaw in Relations?

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Gregory Elich interviewed by Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon

The recent talks between North and South Korea, what if any progress was made in thawing relations between the two countries, what to expect politically from the Winter Olympics being held in South Korea, and why South Korean President Moon continues to desire close relations with the Trump Administration.

 

 

 

 

US-North Korean Relations in a Time of Change

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The months ahead may reveal the direction that U.S.-North Korean relations will take under the Trump administration. After eight years of ‘strategic patience’ and the Rebalance to Asia, those relations now stand at their lowest point in decades. Many foreign policy elites are expressing frustration over Washington’s failure to impose its will on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). There are increasing calls for a change in policy, but what kind of change do they have in mind? We may be at the point of a major transition.

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The U.S. Military’s Toxic Legacy in Korea

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By this time next year, the Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul will be in the final stage of closing down, as U.S forces shift farther south and consolidate around Pyeongtaek. South Korea intends to convert the site into a series of six parks, but there are unresolved concerns regarding alarming levels of toxic contamination.

In the decade after an oil leak became known in 2001, cleanup efforts by the Seoul Metropolitan Government removed nearly 2,000 tons of oil-contaminated underground water from areas outside of Yongsan. U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) claimed that it rectified the problem at its source in 2006, yet the level of petroleum hydrocarbon pollution in nearby groundwater continued to grow, multiplying by a factor of nearly thirteen times over the last four years. The measured level of contamination outside Yongsan now stands at well over eight thousand times the Korean government safety standard. It can only be presumed that the situation inside the base is substantially worse.
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THAAD Comes to Korea, But at What Cost?

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The recent announcement that South Korea had agreed to deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on its territory marks an important advance in the Obama Administration’s militarized Asia pivot. The THAAD battery threatens to destabilize the military balance of power and draw South Korea into an anti-China alliance with the United States and Japan.Read More »