All tagged South Korea

Seoul Mates

Seventy years have passed since the division of Korea and the Northern regime has now reached its third successor, Kim Jong-Un. Many believed that the young leader Kim Jong-Un would not be able to hold together the isolated, poverty stricken, and economically stagnated North Korea. Until last year, talks about an imminent reunification were prevalent in South Korea, attested by South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s emphasis on reunification in her 2014 New Year’s press conference.

An Uncomfortable Past

Pundits list South Korea’s close economic ties with China and need for China’s cooperation in dealing with North Korea as possible reasons for this unprecedented closeness. But another factor unrelated to the economy or security is likely prompting this intimacy—namely, the two countries’ strong sense of solidarity as victims of Japanese imperialism. Beginning in 2013, the tension between South Korea and Japan over unresolved historical controversies has risen, culminating in the suspension of dialogue between the highest-level leaders.

On December 17, 2011, North Korea lost Kim Jong-il ­– its “Dear Leader” – to a heart attack. Without missing a beat, North Korea’s state-run media anointed his third son Kim Jong-un as the “Great Successor” and placed the fate of the North Korean people squarely in his 28-year-old hands. One look at North Korea’s pudgy new protagonist is enough to make me worry not only about the fate of the North Korean people, but about the future security of the East Asian region as a whole.