Andrew Yeo

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People watch a news broadcast with footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul on Jan. 30. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

With the United States and NATO tangling with Russia over Ukraine, and China hosting the Winter Olympics in Beijing, North Korea may not be an immediate priority for any of the great powers. But, as the past few weeks have demonstrated, the North Korean nuisance will not take care of itself.

This January, North Korea conducted seven ballistic missile tests, the most recorded in a single month. We have seen these patterns before. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ “Beyond Parallel” database, in a one-month period beginning in late July 2019, North Korea also conducted seven short-range missile tests.…  Seguir leyendo »

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the city of Samjiyon in undated photo from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency. (AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea shut its borders in January 2020 — arguably one of the world’s most restrictive pandemic border closures, with reports of “shoot to kill” orders at the border. Although recent missile tests and the regime’s claim of zero coronavirus cases suggest business as usual in North Korea, the country now confronts a major humanitarian crisis.

How dire is the humanitarian situation — and what has been the regime’s response? As I argue in my new book (State, Society and Markets in North Korea), despite widespread suffering caused by the coronavirus pandemic and border closures, the regime may find a way to muddle through the crisis.…  Seguir leyendo »

Supporters of South Korean President-elect Moon Jae-in watch closely in Seoul on May 9 as exit polls forecast a win by the Democratic candidate in an election to succeed ousted president Park Geun-hye. (Lee Jin-man/AP)

South Koreans just elected a new president: Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party of Korea. Moon’s victory ends a decade of conservative-party-led government — and provides a bookend to a divisive political scandal, which saw President Park Geun-hye impeached in December.

In Washington, however, Moon’s presidency raises significant questions about potential friction over South Korean foreign policy, particularly regarding North Korea. Are U.S.-South Korean relations heading toward an alliance crisis?

Will Moon seek greater independence from Washington?

The two sides may experience growing pains. However, my research suggests there is significant alliance resilience among democratic partners — even in the face of leadership change.…  Seguir leyendo »