Corea del Norte

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a missile facility, May 2024. KCNA / Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden has plenty of foreign policy crises on his hands. But unfortunately for him, as the United States heads into November’s elections there’s a high chance of yet another emergency: renewed provocations from North Korea. Pyongyang has a history of acting out during U.S. elections. Research by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, for example, found that North Korea stages more than four times as many weapons tests in U.S. election years than in other years.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula is already growing fraught. On January 10, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared South Korea to be an enemy state, ending all talk of peaceful reunification and setting the stage for more hostilities.…  Seguir leyendo »

El dictador norcoreano Kim Jong-un, durante unos ejercicios militares. EFE

Durante los últimos días, el vigor de las sanciones impuestas por la comunidad internacional para conseguir la desnuclearización de Corea del Norte ha disminuido.

Los principales culpables de esta disminución son China y Rusia, dos miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas.

El problema también deriva del hecho de que 62 de los 192 estados miembros de la ONU nunca presentaron informes nacionales de implementación de las sanciones contra Corea del Norte hasta 2022.

China y Rusia se han comprometido secretamente con Corea del Norte. Ambos países instigaron las ambiciones del programa nuclear de Kim Jong-un, lo que le permitió a Corea del Norte desarrollar con éxito misiles balísticos intercontinentales (ICBM, según sus siglas en inglés) y satélites de reconocimiento.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russia's President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur region on 13 September 2023. Photo by MIKHAIL METZEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

On 28 March, Russia vetoed a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution to extend the mandate of the panel of experts (PoE) responsible for monitoring North Korea’s violations of UN sanctions. This development underscores the weakening ability of the UN to constrain ‘rogue’ states, the strengthening alignment between Russia and North Korea, and poses significant challenges for addressing the ‘North Korea problem’.

The PoE was established following North Korea’s second nuclear test in May 2009 and its mandate has been extended annually. But this time, Russia’s veto of the resolution has ended the panel’s mandate, which will expire on 30 April.…  Seguir leyendo »

Putin junto a Kim Jong-un durante una cumbre reciente. Reuters

La cada vez más estrecha alianza entre Rusia y Corea del Norte puede tener graves repercursiones en la geopolítica mundial, pero será transitoria y efímera.

El único motivo del cortejo de Moscú a Pionyang es la guerra en Ucrania. Rusia, país fundador de las Naciones Unidas y miembro permanente de su Consejo de Seguridad, ha participado en ocho de las sanciones de la ONU contra Corea del Norte.

Hoy, sin embargo, Rusia firma acuerdos armamentísticos con el país asiático dado que la invasión de Ucrania ha escalado hasta convertirse en un conflicto europeo más amplio.

Rusia se enfrenta ahora a la escasez de proyectiles de artillería y otros recursos de guerra.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Solution on North Korea Is There, if Biden Will Only Grasp It

How do you solve a problem like North Korea?

Since the end of the Cold War, it seems that every formula, from threatening war to promising peace, has been tried. And yet, despite being under more sanctions than just about any other country, North Korea developed a nuclear arsenal estimated at 50 warheads and sophisticated missiles that can, in theory, deliver those weapons to targets in the continental United States.

President Biden’s administration has taken a notably more ambivalent approach toward North Korea than his predecessor Donald Trump, who alternately railed at and courted its leader, Kim Jong-un. But we shouldn’t stop trying to come up with bold ways to denuclearize North Korea, improve the lives of its people or lessen the risks of conflict, even if that means making unpalatable choices.…  Seguir leyendo »

Banderas de Corea del Norte y Rusia junto a una estación de tren por la visita de Kim Jong Un a Vladivostok, el 25 de abril de 2019. Reuters

Es difícil precisar el número exacto de trabajadores norcoreanos que viven hoy en Rusia ya que muchos de ellos regresaron a Corea del Norte en 2019 tras la adopción de la Resolución 2397 del Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU, que les obligaba a ello. Moscú dijo que había repatriado a la mayoría de los trabajadores norcoreanos a finales de 2019, dejando sólo unas 1.000 personas. Sin embargo, las cifras rusas parecen ser falsas.

Según el Informe 2023 sobre Trata de Personas del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, Moscú expidió 4.723 visados a norcoreanos en 2022 para eludir la resolución de la ONU que prohíbe la mano de obra norcoreana en el extranjero.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meeting in eastern Russia, September 2023. Mikhail Metzel / Kremlin / Reuters

North Korea has long been a source of instability, but a new development over the past year threatens to make things even worse: the country is teaming up with Russia. At a meeting in Pyongyang last July, North Korea’s defense minister, Kang Sun Nam, and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, vowed to expand their countries’ military cooperation to “resolutely stand against” their “common enemy”, the United States. Then, at a September summit with President Vladimir Putin in Russia, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un toasted the Kremlin’s “sacred struggle” against “a band of evil”—a reference to Western countries—and called Putin the “Korean people’s closest friend”.…  Seguir leyendo »

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visiting a munitions factory in North Korea, January 2024. KCNA / Reuters

North Korea’s leadership thrives in moments of global upheaval. And as wars rage in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, Pyongyang has seized its opportunity to spread death and destruction through arms sales. Although the Kim regime has been systematically isolated from the international community, regularly denies that it is supplying weapons overseas, and is prohibited by UN Security Council resolutions from buying or selling various arms, it has nonetheless become a de facto arsenal for the United States’ adversaries.

Pyongyang’s weapons are everywhere. Its shells are fueling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal war on Ukraine, with over a thousand containers of military aid arriving since September 2023.…  Seguir leyendo »

The world once again is trying to parse the stance of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Is Kim positioning his regime to gain from the possibility that former President Donald Trump will return to the White House a year from now – or preparing to start a war?

North Korea watchers long ago grew accustomed to Kim’s dramatic pronouncements and spectacular military tests aimed at projecting power. But in recent weeks, something has changed. And some experts think this time we should be alarmed.

Kim “has made a strategic decision to go to war”, wrote Robert Carlin and Siegfried Hecker, two scholars with experience in national security who are not known for exaggerating the North Korean threat.…  Seguir leyendo »

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attending a meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea, December 2023. KCNA / Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is once again raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Every week seems to bring fresh news of missile tests, as Pyongyang’s range of weapons of mass destruction expands in quality and quantity. At the same time, Kim is issuing new threats of war with South Korea. Denying the kinship between the two countries, he now denounces his neighbor as an enemy state.

There is no doubt that Pyongyang is ramping up its rhetoric and its military provocations. The question, however, is whether Kim is doing this to safeguard his regime and coerce Seoul or if he is planning an impending offensive against South Korea and the United States.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) meets with his North Korean counterpart Choe Son Hui (L) in Moscow on 16 January 2024. (Photo by Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Recent rhetoric from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un strongly suggests that his country will adopt a more aggressive foreign policy this year. Kim began the new year by warning South Korea and the US of his country’s readiness for war and threatened to use nuclear weapons in the event.

Although direct war on the Korean Peninsula looks unlikely this year, it would be wrong to dismiss Kim’s words entirely. North Korean provocations towards South Korea and the US will probably escalate beyond previous years – especially given the US presidential election in November – and Kim will wish to emphasize North Korea’s status as a nuclear-armed state.…  Seguir leyendo »

South Korean honor guards participate in a welcome ceremony before the defense ministerial meeting of the United Nations Command member nations at the Defense Ministry in Seoul on Nov. 14. Song Kyung-Seok/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

There’s growing skepticism among the American public about U.S. commitments abroad, matched with growing doubt among allies and partners—monitoring political currents in the United States—about the credibility of those commitments. Even for those who still retain faith in Washington, concern is rising about U.S. capacity to meet its commitments, considering increased demands on U.S. attention and resources amid ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Middle East. Observers question if the United States can properly meet what it calls its pacing challenge—China—in the Indo-Pacific or beyond.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other U.S. officials have argued that the United States can walk and chew gum at the same time, mainly because of its unparalleled network of allies and partners.…  Seguir leyendo »

El líder supremo de Corea del Norte, Kim Jong Un, conversa con el miembro del politburó del Partido Comunista Chino, Li Hongzhong, el pasado 28 de julio en Pyongyang. Reuters

27 de julio, 70 aniversario del final de la Guerra de Corea. Las celebraciones en Seúl son sobrias y austeras, mientras que en Pyongyang se exaltan los desfiles militares con miríadas de soldados, carros de combate e incluso armamento nuclear. En verdad, nada nuevo bajo el lejano sol de oriente.

Sin embargo, este año sí hay un detalle inquietante: Kim Jong Un está sentado junto a dos invitados de honor: el ministro de Defensa ruso, Sergei Shoigu, y el miembro del Politburó chino Li Hongzhong.

Poco después, Rocketman visita Rusia durante una semana (el viaje más largo de Kim desde que es el líder supremo).…  Seguir leyendo »

Kim Jong Un's sister stands alongside the North Korean leader at the Vostochny Сosmodrome in the Amur region, Russia, on September 13, 2023. Kremlin

When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sat down to sign the guestbook at a space center last week as part of his momentous meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a young woman casually leaned over his shoulder to read the message.

Among the assortment of mostly male officials stiffly clustered around the world leaders, she immediately stood out. The woman was Kim Yo Jong — younger sister of the North Korean leader and one of the country’s most important political advisors.

Since stepping into the international spotlight in 2018 with a history-making visit to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea — the first member of her family since the end of the Korean War to set foot in the South — she has become a key mouthpiece of the regime.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's Amur region on Sept. 13. Mikhail Metzel/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

After more than three years of intense, self-imposed isolationism amid the COVID-19 pandemic, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ventured outside of his country’s borders this week. Kim headed for the Russian far east—on the same armored train once favored by his father—to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was Kim’s first meeting with a foreign leader since 2019. Playing host allowed the Russian president to project an image of relative diplomatic normality amid his own diplomatic isolation, crystallized by his absences from the recent G-20 and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summits.

Putin greeted Kim informally in Russian, displaying a familiarity with the North Korean leader, whom he first met in 2019.…  Seguir leyendo »

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un waves from his armoured train in Pyongyang as he leaves for Russia on September 10. KCNA/AP

When North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia’s Far East region on Tuesday in his grandfather’s armored green train on his way to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, he helped underscore two important facts about Putin’s unprovoked war against Ukraine.

First, Putin has turned what was once a mighty and respected army — and country — into one that is reduced to seeking help from an impoverished state that can hardly feed its own people. It’s a humiliating exercise for a diminished Putin, who vaingloriously compares himself to the 18th century Czar Peter the Great, and not a great look for a deeply tarnished Russia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Corea del Norte y Corea del Sur se distancian cada día más

Cuando las fuerzas norcoreanas cruzaron el paralelo 38 en junio de 1950, que comenzó la Guerra de Corea y duró tres años, mi abuelo Kang Yeon-gu era un estudiante adolescente en sus vacaciones de verano.

Tuvo suerte. Su aldea agrícola, en el extremo sureste de la península coreana, se encontraba muy lejos del estallido inicial de los combates. Millones de personas acudían a la zona en busca de seguridad. Uno de sus vecinos de Busan huyó con la vaca de la familia. El abuelo, que cumplió 90 años este año, sobrevivió a la guerra. Tras millones de muertos y miles de familias divididas, el 27 de julio de 1953 se firmó un armisticio.…  Seguir leyendo »

North and South Korea Drift Farther Apart Every Day

When North Korean forces surged across the 38th parallel in June 1950, starting the three-year Korean War, my grandfather Kang Yeon-gu was a teenage student on summer break.

He was lucky. His farming village on the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula was about as far from the outbreak of fighting as you could get. Millions of people were streaming south to the area seeking safety. One of his neighbors today in Busan had fled there with the family cow in tow. Gramps, who turned 90 this year, survived the war. After millions of deaths and thousands of divided families, an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953.…  Seguir leyendo »

A TV screen at a railway station in Seoul shows an image of a North Korean missile launch during a news program on Thursday. (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

Seventy years ago, on July 27, 1953, military commanders from the United States and North Korea signed an armistice agreement that ended the hostilities of the Korean War. The two sides used diplomacy to end a bloody conflict that cost 3 million lives.

A renewed commitment to diplomacy is urgently needed to keep that peace today — even if it requires a unilateral concession of some kind by the United States to get it started.

The war itself did not end in 1953. A state of hostilities still exists on the Korean Peninsula, and the security situation right now looks increasingly dire.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, June 2018 Leah Millis / Reuters

Seventy years ago this week, the armistice that froze the Korean War was signed. During a year of savage battlefield maneuvering and two more of bitter stalemate, nearly 40,000 American troops gave their lives. Several thousand more allied troops also died, as did millions of Koreans, many of them heroically in combat against communist aggression, and even more as its civilian victims. The southern half of the Korean peninsula, now a thriving democracy, took decades to recover. The northern half never has, remaining impoverished, oppressed, and a source of instability.

The median age of surviving U.S. Korean War veterans is around 90.…  Seguir leyendo »