Deja Vu on the Korean Peninsula

Deja Vu on the Korean Peninsula

“It’s déjà vu all over again.” The classic quote from the great American philosopher Yogi Berra, originally in reference to the home run chase between baseball greats Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 1961, could just as well describe...
South Korea Cracks Down on Dissent

South Korea Cracks Down on Dissent

On February 8, the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) raided the Seoul and Incheon offices of the South Korean NGO, Solidarity for Peace and Reunification in Korea (SPARK) for violating the National Security Law (NSL). The NIS also searched the homes of...
A Korean Spring?

A Korean Spring?

As 2011 came to a close, the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il took the world by surprise (including the CIA which, like the rest of us, only learned of his passing 48 hours later). Given the dearth of understanding about North Korea in the West, the media...
Playing With Fire on the Korean Peninsula

Playing With Fire on the Korean Peninsula

Why is the Obama Administration creating obstacles and throwing cold water on talks with North Korea, and why is it binding itself to right-wing South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, whose politics just took a shellacking in the recent race for mayor of Seoul? The...

The Problem with Lee’s Reunification Plan

On August 15th, the 65th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan, South Korean President Lee Myung Bak delivered a speech outlining his plans for the reunification of Korea. Although the plans are still vague, like the creation of a “peace...

Asia’s New Axis?

Australia and South Korea have both experienced major political shifts, but in opposite directions. Australia has emerged from 11 years of conservative government under John Howard to Labor under Kevin Rudd. South Korea is going from 10 years of progressive government...

What Lee Can Learn From Bush?

On the occasion of their first summit, George W. Bush should have a private, one-on-one, conservative-to-conservative chat with Lee Myung-bak. In this chat, the U.S. President should tell the cautionary tale of how his administration did everything it could to...

Hardliners Target Dtente with North Korea

The Bush administration’s approach to North Korea was once quite consistent with its overall foreign policy. There was name-calling, a preference for regime change, and an emphasis on military solutions. Not surprisingly, then, the relationship between the...

Letter to South Korea’s New President

South Korea’s new president underwent his own personal green revolution when he became mayor of Seoul. In charge of major construction projects at Hyundai for three decades, Lee Myung-bak reversed himself in the new millennium. He made rivers spring from...

A Green Bulldozer?

South Korea’s new president underwent his own personal green revolution when he became mayor of Seoul. In charge of major construction projects at Hyundai for three decades, Lee Myung-bak reversed himself in the new millennium. He made rivers spring from...

What Darwin Could Tell Us About the

Although it may seem counterintuitive, the “law and order” response by our politicians only intensifies the problem. Instead, they might turn to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to glean insight as to why these “common sense”...